Bobby relishing chance to face former club

Bobby Zamora admits he can't wait to face his former club Brighton and Hove Albion in the FA Cup third round at Upton Park in January.

"I was pleased when I heard we had drawn them," says the Hammers striker, who is still considered a hero among the Brighton fans after leading them to successive promotions from the old third division to the first between 2001 and 2003.

"It's always nice to play against your old Club and, looking back, I haven't really had the chance to start against them before, so hopefully I will get the chance in this match. West Ham haven't beaten them at the last couple of attempts so we will be looking to put that right."

League one side Brighton will be considered the underdogs going into the match but Bobby points out that status often counts for little in the FA Cup.

"It's a game we will be expected to win on paper, but the Cup is not always like that, you only have to remember the Chesterfield result to see that," he says. "We are at home, though, where we are looking good at the moment and we will obviously go into the match looking for a victory."

Bobby will be looking forward to seeing the fans and some old faces from the Club where he scored an impressive 70 goals in 117 League games after being released by Bristol Rovers in the summer of 2000…but that's only after victory is achieved for the Hammers.

"I enjoyed my time there and left on good terms so I would expect to get a nice reception from the supporters," he says. "I know a few people who still work there as well - and I am a bit of a face down there! - so there will be a fair bit of catching up to do but that's only once the job is done on the pitch."

Despite exiting two cup competitions at the first hurdle already this season, Bobby believes the team will be spurred on in the FA Cup by the memory of what was achieved last year and how close the team came to bringing the Cup back to Upton Park.

"It is always good to avoid the bigger teams in the opening round as it gives you more chance of progressing, but last year we faced tough opposition every round and got all the way to the final so we know we are more than capable.

"The memory of last year's cup run is still very much with us and will definitely spur us on to go one better this time round - that coupled with the disappointment of going out of the Carling Cup and UEFA Cup so early this season."

By Miranda Nagalingam