Ferdinand Keen To Make Up For England Heartbreak

ANTON Ferdinand suffered heartbreak on England Under-21 duty in midweek, as Peter Taylor's men were defeated 2-1 by France and denied the chance to play in next summer's European Under-21 Championships.

It was a blow to the 20-year-old, who was looking forward to playing in his first major international competition. But Anton has a chance to put the disappointment behind him as Hammers visit White Hart Lane for the eagerly awaited London derby with Spurs on Sunday.

And now his focus has switched back to football at club level, the Hammers defender admits that he's looking forward to a great atmosphere at White Hart Lane.

"It is soul-destroying when you lose a game as important as the one in midweek in the way that we did," admitted the Academy graduate, after a late and controversial penalty had clinched the victory for France.

"Football is my life and going to a big tournament like the European Championships would have been a dream come true. If we had got through it would have been the first major tournament I would have played in.

"I dreamed of playing for England as a kid, at any level, so there was anger at the way we went out. There was a lot of emotion out there and it was tough to take. But all the players have just got to keep their heads up, get on with it and look to the future."

For Anton the immediate future consists of a tough trip to take on Spurs, a game that promises to be packed full of atmosphere and excitment for both sets of supporters.

"It's a huge game for us and I'm really looking forward to it," he admitted. "This season has been a big learning process for me and now I just want to focus on doing well again for my club.

"We've had some excellent results at home recently and we've been playing well as a team. It will be a big atmosphere and a huge game for the fans going to White Hart Lane and hopefully we can put in the kind of performance that our supporters will be looking for.

"Playing for West Ham United against some of the best strikers in the world this season has really made me step up my own game. Now I want to continue to progress, keep learning and hopefully improving as a player."