Bobby's Brighton Emotions

BOBBY Zamora earned a rapturous reception from both sets of fans at the Withdean Stadium, and despite being pleased with his return to the South Coast the former Brighton hero left disappointed after seeing his old side claw back a late equaliser.

The 24-year-old, who was named on the subs bench but replaced the injured Teddy Sheringham in the 59th minute, admitted that it was a day of mixed emotions.

"I've got great memories from my time at Brighton and it was nice to go back and get a good reception," he said.

"It was a difficult day, because I've got enormous ties to both the clubs and I don't want to see Brighton go down.

"But my job was to help West Ham United get three points, and the last minute equaliser was gutting for the players because we had enough chances to have won the game."

Bobby had no qualms about beginning the game on the bench, even though he admitted that he would have loved to have started against the team who he fired towards two promotions in three years.

"I want to play in every game whoever it's against," he said. "But my job was to come and it's something I've been getting used to in recent games, getting stuck in quickly and trying to make an impact.

"Unfortunately, I didn't make as big a difference as I would have liked and the result was definitely a disappointment letting in a goal in the last minute.

"Brighton are fighting for their lives and threw everything at us in the last ten minutes. We just couldn't hold out, and now it puts even more emphasis on us winning our final home game against Sunderland."

Hammers home form has been an area of much speculation over recent months. Pressure and expectancy have been blamed for a record of just one win in five games at Upton Park, but Bobby is hoping the big match atmosphere can help Alan Pardew's men to victory.

"We've done well on the big occasions this season," he said. "We've got an excellent record against the top sides and hopefully we can continue that on Friday night.

"It's going to be a big crowd and I'm sure the atmosphere will be tremendous. Of course, the pressure is on for us to win the game. Maximum points over these last two games has got to be our aim now.

"The point at Brighton has moved us back into the Play-off places and that will give us a boost this week. But we know it's a very slender lead and nobody is thinking about anything less than a win against Sunderland.

"I don't think the fact that they're already promoted will have a bearing on the game. They're still chasing the Championship title and in any case we can't prepare for a game hoping that the other team don't turn up.

"All we have to do is focus on our own game, because we've got the belief in this squad that if we play well then we're good enough to get the win.

"It's going to be a massive game in front of the cameras and let's hope it's a night to remember for West Ham United."