New Beginnings

SHAUN Newton arrives at Upton Park with an impressive promotion record to his name.

The 29-year-old has been promoted to the Premiership no less than three times during his career, twice with Charlton and more recently with Wolves in 2003.

Now the London-born player, who has signed a deal until the end of the season at Upton Park, is aiming to add another promotion to his already impressive list, this time with West Ham United.

"West Ham United is a Club with big ambitions," he said, "and hopefully I can do well and be a part of that.

"I've had three promotions from this League, twice with Charlton and once with Wolves, so I know what it takes to get out of the division and hopefully I can pass on that experience to some of the younger players.

"It takes lots of hard work and graft to win promotion and once you do that then the other things fall into place.

"We can't just roll up at games and expect to take three points. You have to earn promotion and it's going to take a lot of hard work between now and the end of the season.

"But West Ham are still in a very good position in the League and we need to consolidate that position between now and the end of the season."

Shaun arrives at Upton Park from Wolves, where he made 150 appearances in three and a half seasons. After joining the Molineux club in 2001, Shaun learned all about the expectation often attached to big clubs trying to regain their Premiership status. And he believes that experience will stand him in good stead with the Upton Park faithful.

"I've come from a Club where the level of expectation is huge," he admitted. "Wolves hadn't had top-flight football for 19 years and the expectation of the fans was massive.

"From what I've been told I know the situation is similar here, but I feel for the fans. They want to be in the Premiership, and that's where I want to be as well.

"The fans want their team to win three or four nil every week, but it doesn't always happen that way and it naturally creates anxiety out on the pitch.

"That kind of situation calls for cool heads. But I've got broad shoulders and hopefully my experience will mean that I can help the team handle the pressure of a promotion battle.

"This move came as a bit of a surprise. I was sitting around not playing much at Wolves and I'm used to achieving things and progressing, so when a club like West Ham come calling and said that they want you to be a part of what they are trying to achieve, it's a chance you have to take.

"This is definitely a great opportunity for me and one I want to grab, and hopefully get back to the Premiership."

London born-and-bred, Shaun is pleased to be back in the capital after almost four years away in the Black Country. But judging by the amount of friendly faces around Upton Park, Shaun should settle in quickly.

"Obviously Chris Powell is an old friend from my time at Charlton and I still speak to him a lot," he revealed. "Before I joined I phoned Chris to ask him about the Club. He told me all about the ambitions and expectations at West Ham and about the set-up and the good bunch of lads they have here.

"I also know Bobby Zamora, who's pretty lively, Nigel Reo-Coker, Anton Ferdinand and I've played against Marlon Harewood a few times. So, although it's a new club there are a few recognisable faces about."

Shaun goes straight into the squad for Saturday's trip to Reading, and could start at right-back in place of the suspended Tomas Repka, a position he feels he can make his own for the Hammers.

"I've played on the right-side the whole of my career," he explained. "More often than not it's been in midfield, but anywhere down the right is no problem for me and it will just be good to get back playing again.

"It's about adapting to situations and I'm sure I can adapt my game to fit the job Alan Pardew wants me to do.

"I trained for the first time with the lads today (Friday). It was nice to get my first session out the way and I think it went pretty well.

"Right now, I'm just really looking forward to the game against Reading and hopefully I can prove a point and show the West Ham fans what I can do."