Carl's Wales Heartache

CARL Fletcher saw a valiant Welsh performance amount to nothing when Austria scored an 87th minute winner in the Ernst Happel Stadium on Wednesday night to rob John Toshack's men.

Now, after a taxing international Easter, the 25-year-old midfielder is looking forward to returning to Hammers duty.

"It was a tough run with two games in four days," admitted Carl, who featured in Wales' home and away matches against Austria. "The game in Austria was particularly hard to take. We deserved to take something from the game and had the chances to win it.

"Unfortunately, our goalkeeper Danny Coyne made a mistake late in the game, but no one was attaching any blame to him. He's done really well for us and in any case we should have done more with the chances we had.

"Now we go into two tough games at club level against Wigan and Burnley and my focus has shifted towards those.

"It's always an honour to represent my country and obviously I want to win as many caps as I can and be successful with Wales. But my job, first and foremost, is with West Ham United and now that's where my priorities are.

"We've got eight games left and every one of those is going to be vital to our season. The Play-offs are our target now and we've got to make sure that we're in the top six at the end of the season.

"To do that we need wins, and hopefully we can get this run off to a good start with a result at Wigan."