Reo-coker Set For Timely Return

HAMMERS midfield dynamo Nigel Reo-Coker will be ready for action again on Boxing Day following his six week layoff with an ankle injury.

The England under-21 international will provide a timely lift to the West Ham side, as Israeli playmaker Yossi Benayoun is sidelined for three weeks following his knock against Newcastle.

"Nigel's availability gives us a boost because we've lost Yossi, and that will be a big loss for us. But we lost Danny Gabbidon and we still got some great results.

"James Collins, Carl Fletcher and Mark Noble all did well for us, so I'm hoping that Nigel will come back and we'll carry on getting results.

"We've had key players out and have still been consistent in terms of points gathered from day one, so I hope that continues."

Hammers young captain will not only bring his talent as a footballer back to the team, but also his ruthless winning attitude, dedication and commitment.

"In terms of a personality to come back, it's a good time because he's frustrated and he wants to play," said Pards.

"He sets the right example in the way that he approaches the game. I look at him and he's full of beans and he wants to be the best.

"I like that in my team and he sets that out on the pitch. He gets frustrated if it isn't going well and he has that sort of inbuilt winning ability in him.

"Not all players have got that. They may maintain they have, but you know in the last 20 minutes of a game if they're a real winner, and Nigel will always be putting out.

"He'll work out there and he's got a good heart, he's a good person. I think a young captain for this particular team is the right thing."