Shaun's London Love

LONDON born and bred, midfielder Shaun Newton knows all about the passion of derby-days in the Capital.

And the 30-year-old winger is looking forward to Saturday's clash with Arsenal after winning his first start of the season in the Carling Cup victory over Sheffield Wednesday.

"There's always a bit of a special atmosphere for London derbies," he said. "We experienced it last week at Fulham of course, when we dealt with the occasion very well.

"This time we're in front of our own crowd and at Upton Park the atmosphere should be fantastic for a London derby.

"Arsenal is one of the games the home crowd will have certainly been looking for at the start of the season.

"The players are certainly looking forward to it, but at the end of the day you have to focus on preparing in the right way and try not to get caught up in the build-up.

"It's a big game, but we've had big games already this season and done very well.

"There's a lot of confidence amongst the squad, the lads are playing well, and there's no better preparation for playing Arsenal than that."

Newts was delighted to get 90 minutes of action under his belt in the Cup, coming into a much-changed side and doing his chances of a regular place in the first-team no harm with a solid display.

"It's difficult to come in after not playing from the start of the season," he confessed. "I've come on as a sub a few times, but you have to adjust to playing from the start again and it's different.

"But it was a good performance against Wednesday, especially as that team hasn't really played together before. There were a few lads in there who are pushing for a place in the first-team and everyone wanted to put in a good display to give the gaffer something to think about.

"Hopefully we did that, because the first-team has looked really sharp so far and those of us who are sitting out at the moment have got to do something special to break through.

"But the main thing for me is to keep working hard, make sure I'm 100 per cent on the training pitch and then do what I can when I get the chance.

"I got almost half an hour at Fulham and if that's the role that the manager sees me playing then I'll do it to the best of my ability.

"The main thing is the result, and you can't really argue with some of the ones we've had this season. It'd be great to be saying that after Saturday's game as well."