Ferdinand's Focus

AFTER playing his part in the 3-1 win over Blackburn Rovers at Upton Park, Anton Ferdinand sits down to answer questions about the season ahead.

On Saturday you played in the Premier League for the first time in the 3-1 win over Blackburn Rovers. Can you describe your emotions leading up to and during the game?

AF: "It was just an unbelievable day. The fans were incredible and the whole atmosphere inside the Stadium was fantastic. That made the game extra special and getting three points for the fans, who supported us magnificently, was a really good feeling. I was more excited than nervous before the game. Ever since we got promoted I've been waiting for that game against Blackburn, it just couldn't come quickly enough. I've dreamt about playing in the Premier League my whole life, and got on the bench when the Club was last in the top-flight. For it to finally happen was an unbelievable experience and now I just can't wait for the next game against Newcastle."

After such a good start to the Premier League season how do you go about trying to keep that form going into the coming games?

AF: "It's all about staying focused, keeping our concentration and making sure that we don't get too carried away. The Blackburn result was fantastic and it's given us a great start to the season, but it is only one game and we know it's going to be a long season. Everyone is so keen to do well though that I don't think focus is going to be a problem. We just have to make sure we keep playing well and giving 100 per cent. The rest will take care of itself."

Against Blackburn Rovers the fans played a huge part in the victory. How important do you think Hammers home form is going to be this season?

AF: "It's going to be crucial. The atmosphere was so good against Blackburn, and if we get that at every home game then we are going to have a fantastic chance of doing well this season, because it makes coming to Upton Park so difficult for the opposition. To be honest, when I'm on the ball I don't notice the crowd so much, because you just concentrate on the moment. But you can't fail to notice it during games. The crowd were definitely our 12th man against Blackburn and I'm sure that will be the case throughout the season, home and away. The fans were vital to our success at the end of last season because of the way they supported us and it will be the same again."

You were paired in the centre of defence with new signing Danny Gabbidon. What did you think of his West Ham United debut?

AF: "Danny had a really good game on Saturday, but that goes for every player in the team really. All the lads making their debuts did well. Danny and I communicated really well, and that's encouraging, because as a defence you have to be organised and communicate with each other. Danny's obviously a good player who has won a lot of international caps, so he can definitely do it at this level. He had a solid game, but so did every player out there, and that's something we can hopefully take on and on into the season. It also means that the lads who weren't in the team have to work that bit harder to get their chance. It's all competition which will only make the team stronger."

This week you went away and played for the England Under-21s in their 1-0 win over Denmark. That must have been a big boost so early in the new season?

AF: "Playing for your country is always special and I was delighted to be selected along with Nigel Reo-Coker for the England Under-21s. We both played for England Under-20s over the summer, which was a great experience, so to make that step up again to play for the 21s is very encouraging. I see it as a marker of the progress I've made recently and hopefully I can keep that up this season."

After taking three points in the opening game what do you think the team can achieve over the opening six games of the season?

AF: "The start to the season was always going to be important for the newly promoted teams and we had the perfect opening against Blackburn. It would be great if we could now go on a bit of an unbeaten streak and there's no reason why not. To play at this level you must have the confidence to compete. There's no point going out there if you don't believe in what you are doing. The good thing about this squad is we believe in ourselves and we believe that we can survive in the top-flight this season."