Nigel Takes Charge

NIGEL Reo-Coker is aiming to make his mark on another Premiership clash when the Hammers take on Fulham at Craven Cottage.

The 21-year-old midfielder comes face to face with Fulham giant Papa Bouba Diop on Saturday, but the England Under-21 is not fazed by the prospect of taking on the 6ft 4ins Fulham star.

Nigel said: "It will be good to come up against a player like him. He is strong and good technically so it will be a tough test.

"But I don't really worry about my opponents, I just focus on playing my own game and helping West Ham United.

"I respect every player that I come up against, but my aim is to stamp my authority on the game and if I do that then hopefully it will give us the chance of coming away with a win.

"It promises to be a good game. It's our first London derby back in the Premier League, so it should be really competitive and the fans will be up for it.

"Fulham are hard working and organised. Chris Coleman has done a great job there and by all accounts they were unlucky not to have won at Newcastle last weekend.

"It will be a hard game for sure. But we're very confident after a strong performance against Aston Villa and I'm sure we'll take that confidence into this game and give another strong performance.

"I'm sure the atmosphere at Craven Cottage will be good and both sets of fans will enjoy the contest."

Hammers are currently seventh in the Premier League table and have surprised pundits and fans alike with their free-flowing and open football this season. Nigel agrees that the start has exceeded everyone's expectations, but warns against complacency.

"Our aim is first of all to survive and then to hopefully finish in the top 10," he explained. "Our start to the season has been tremendous, but we just want to take one game at a time and make sure we keep this good form going.

"I'm sure there is more to come from both myself and the team and hopefully we can surprise a few more people this season."