Awesome Anton

DEFENDER Anton Ferdinand has been winning praise from all quarters for his performances in recent weeks.

Watched by his brother Rio, the 20-year-old Academy graduate turned in another fine display at centre-half to keep Burnley at bay and secure a vital 1-0 win for Alan Pardew's men.

But after the match, Anton was far more concerned with six crucial Championship points than his own excellent form in recent weeks.

"I've been really pleased with the way I've been playing," he agreed, "but it's the team as a whole that deserves credit, because in these last two games we've put in two really good performances, and got two important wins.

"Six points was obviously the aim when we came up here, the Wigan result gave us a huge boost, but we all knew that it was going to be just as tough against Burnley.

"They're a difficult side to play against. They had some hard running players and they made the game tough. But we stayed patient, kept playing and just believed that the goal would come.

"Thankfully, Marlon and Teddy combined really well to score, and we go into Saturday's game at home to Coventry in a really positive mood."

Speaking of West Ham's return to Upton Park, where they have won just once in the last four games, Anton knows that despite their form shown on the road, Alan Pardew's men must reproduce in front of their own crowd.

"We've done some really good things over the last few days," he explained, "and we have to make sure we keep that good work going with a performance against Coventry.

"It's not that we've been playing badly at home. In the last two home games against Crewe and Leicester we actually played pretty well, but didn't get the results we were looking for.

"Obviously we'll take a lot of confidence from the results at Wigan and Burnley and there's certainly an extra buzz around the dressing room after the week we've had.

"Our only aim now is to keep that spirit going right through to the end of the season."

His own progress this season has been remarkable. After being shuffled along the back four during his first full year, Anton has made the centre-back berth his own, showing maturity as well as ability alongside Elliott Ward.

"It's going well," he beamed. "Elliott and I have a good understanding on the pitch. We've played together at youth and reserve level and we know each others games.

"From my point of view, this season has been about working hard and trying to get settled in the team.

"It all starts on the training pitch. If you work hard there then you've got every chance of getting the rewards."