Dailly Determined To Get On With The Job

MIDFIELDER Christian Dailly insists that the two-week international break has not dulled the sharpness of Alan Pardew's squad, and the 31-year-old Scotland star believes the Hammers squad can keep up their encouraging start to the season against Aston Villa at Upton Park this evening.

"You just have to get on with it after internationals," explained Christian. "The situation is not ideal, but it's the way it is and you just have to get on with it.

"The breaks can sometimes work for you and they can sometimes work against you, but it's the same for everyone and it is the way you deal with the breaks that is important.

"The minimum we require from ourselves is 100 per cent application to the job and since the squad got back together that's exactly what the boys have given.

"The Villa game is an important one for us because after losing our last home game we want to hit back.

"But they're a good side, they look to be improving and they will certainly be dangerous. We'll have to be on our guard, but we've shown some form over the opening three games and we hope to continue that tonight."

Having spent nearly four and a half years at Upton Park, Christian knows all about the benefits of having the Boleyn Ground crowd right behind you. And he believes the floodlit atmosphere could be a major factor this evening.

"Certainly the crowd will play a big part," he said, "especially with it being a night game because matches under the floodlights at Upton Park are always a bit special.

"The fans have helped us a lot already this season and from the first kick-off against Blackburn they've been right behind us.

"We'll need them again against Villa, but hopefully we can give the type of performance that really gets them involved and in turn they can give us a lift.

"At night the Upton Park atmosphere just seems that bit more tense and exciting. There's an extra spark and hopefully that will work in our favour."

At home Christian knows that Hammers will be charged with taking the game to Villa, and he called for his team-mates to dominate in the opening exchanges.

"It's going to be important for us to impose our way of playing on them early on," he said. "We need to take command of the match and stamp our authority on it.

"We're confident going into the game though and hopefully we will come away with a good result."