Nigel's Survival Plan

WEST Ham United captain Nigel Reo-Coker believes the team have what it takes to survive in the Premier League next season.

With the team spirit as high as he's ever seen it at Upton Park after the Play-off triumph, the 21-year-old midfielder is also backing Alan Pardew's team to surprise a few people in the coming campaign.

"We've got a fantastic squad," Nigel told the latest issue of MATCH Magazine, "with a mix of great young talent and a few players with Premiership experience.

"With that balance things are looking very positive for us. But the hard work has only just begun, because you've got to be a very good team to survive in the Premier League."

Looking back on the incredible success achieved by the Club over the final weeks of the season, Nigel points to incredible team spirit as the reason behind the rise of Alan Pardew's men to the Premiership.

"West Ham United's success this season has been all about the strength of the team rather than the quality of the individuals," he explained. "We said before the Play-off Final that it was going to be a team effort and we had to stand together.

"At the start of the Final we were really confident that we could win and that belief showed in our performance.

"It certainly worked, and it's an approach we'll be taking into our opening Premier League games.

"The manager is bringing in some new faces and that's also going to be important. But I think West Ham are more suited to playing in the Premiership than the Championship, because the Club seems to raise its game for the big occasions, and every match next season will be massive."

After serving on duty with the England Under-20s Nigel will now begin a short, yet well-deserved, summer holiday before the players report back for pre-season training at the start of July.

Nigel admits that this summer's vacation will be far more enjoyable than the one he suffered last season, which came off the back of Play-off Final defeat.

"Compared to last year, this summer will be easy to enjoy," he smiled. "When we were beaten last season by Crystal Palace it was really hard and it didn't make the summer very enjoyable.

"This year we've earned the right to enjoy our summer a bit more and celebrate the promotion.

"But then it'll be back to Chadwell Heath and the hard work of preparing for the Premiership."

The full interview with Nigel Reo-Coker is available in the latest issue of MATCH the UK's best-selling weekly football magazine!