Hayden's New Deal

MIDFIELDER Hayden Mullins has signed a new contract with West Ham United that will keep him at the Club until 2010.

The 26-year-old arrived at Upton Park from Crystal Palace as Alan Pardew's first signing in October 2003.

Hayden graduated through the Palace youth system to make his League debut in August 1998. A superb athlete he quickly established himself at first-team level, playing in both midfield and defence.

The early part of his Hammers career saw Hayden operate primarily as a right-back, but the Berkshire born player has blossomed since switching into central midfield and has started every Premier League game so far this season.

A consistent performer who brings assurance and energy to the Hammers engine room, Hayden is a highly valued member of Pards' squad.

The Hammers boss said: "He arrived at the same time I did, and I know it's been difficult for him but he's come through all the criticism and he deserves every bit of credit he's getting at the minute."

"He's filled in at right-back and left-back, but we've got so much more cover now and we're stronger in all areas that he's been able to settle down in his prefered role.

"Some of the work he does goes unnoticed, although it doesn't go unnoticed in the team. He's well respected and well liked and that's very important.

"One of the things that's a real asset of Hayden's is his timing of tackles. When you throw bodies forward like we do that player becomes so important, like Claude Makelele for Chelsea.

"Their timing and reading of the game means they can clean things up if  it gets a bit messy, and he does that really well."

The former England Under-21 international becomes the second Hammers player in the space of a week to sign a new five-year deal at the Boleyn Ground, after Nigel Reo-Coker also secured his future.