Reo-coker's Relief To Be Back

NIGEL Reo-Coker returned to injury after six weeks on Monday night, after being out with an ankle injury. The young mid-fielder played a full ninety minutes and resumed his commanding role as Captain.

Nigel spoke exclusively to about his return to action:

"I felt it went well overall, but the team did not play well in the first-half and the performance we put it was not what West Ham are about. But we had a strong team-talk at half-time and we came out in the second-half and totally dominated the game and I actually think we were unlucky not to win.

"Some people might say it was a fair result as Portsmouth were the better team in the first-half but to be fair they only looked good because of our individual errors, they didn't really test us or create many chances, whereas in the second-half we really pinned them back and had a lot of efforts on goal.

"Still is was an important away draw and a good point to pick up, these are the sorts of results we will look back on at the end of the season and realise how vital they were."

For a hungry young player like Nigel who wants to play every minute of every game going it has been a particularly hard period having to sit these past few weeks out.

"It was so good to be back playing and I was really pleased to be given the Captain's armband as well. I always find the captaincy adds something more to my game as I like rising to the responsibility of leading the team and I hope I did that well again at Portsmouth.
"It has been a very frustrating time for me these past few weeks, I have missed some massive games for both my Club and country. It is soul-destroying to have to watch my team-mates from the side-lines, especially in games I was itching to play in at the start of the season, so I am just so pleased to be back playing again."

Wigan is the next tough test of the Christmas period and Nigel explains why he thinks both teams have surprised a few people this year and what sort of game he expects from Paul Jewell and his boys.

"I think both teams came up with good young managers who, instilled a good team spirit from day one, bought well and spent wisely in the transfer market and just made sure their individual positive personalities were reflected in their teams.

"It will be a good footballing game, both teams are similar in their style of play and where they are in the table so there is all to play for. There will be a lot of tactical play which is what the Premiership is all about.

"This is the most important period in the footballing calendar, there are so many points to pick up it can make or break a season for some Clubs. For a team like West Ham, this could be the point for us to secure safety in the League then push on to finish as high up the table as possible."

Nigel picked up a slight knock to his ankle on Monday which swelled up over night, as a result he missed training yesterday and will be assessed today as to whether he is worth risking with two further games in quick succession.