Anton Always Learning

WITH all the hype that surrounded Anton Ferdinand's first show-down with older brother Rio on Sunday, the 20-year-old emerged from the match with plenty of credit, if not the points that he so desperately wanted for his team.

Even though Rio's United ran out 2-1 winners, Anton admitted that he had learned a lot from playing against some of the game's best.

A wonderful turn inside his own area to evade Ruud Van Nistelrooy was the highlight of a commanding display from the Academy graduate, who believes Hammers will continue to improve as they take on the best the Premier League has to offer.

"If you don't learn from playing against teams like Manchester United then you never will," exclaimed Anton.

"They have got players in their team who are world beaters, and when you come up against players like that you are only going to learn.

"Playing against guys like that, you gain experience and knowledge, it helps you to improve because you have an idea of what level you need to reach to play like them.

"I will look back through the game against United, as I always do, and check my own performance.

"There were some things I was happy with and some things I perhaps though I could do better. But at the end of the day we were all disappointed to lose after playing so well in the first-half.

"When we play, we always want to win - and if you do not go onto the pitch with that mentality, then you are not going to do it.

"With that mentality, you are going to come off and be upset. We were disappointed about losing, even if it was against a very good side like Manchester United, and that shows how far the team have come."

Anton appeared to handle the much-hyped clash against his older brother as he handles opposing strikers, with the poise and cool of a man much older than his 20 years.

"There was a big build up to the game,"he admitted, "but once I'm on the pitch, all of that goes out of my mind.

"As soon as I get out there it is all about playing for West Ham United and getting the three points.

"I am the type of person who wants to get his head down and play football, because I haven't done anything in the game yet and there is still so much I want to achieve and along way for me to go."

There were warm handshakes between the two brothers after the game, but they did not have a chance to analyse their first head-to-head match.

Anton added: "Rio went back with the team, so we didn't have a chance to speak much after the game.

"I am sure he will probably watch the game again and will say something to me though!"