Anton's happy birthday

After marking his 21st birthday on Saturday with an imperious display at the Reebok Stadium, Anton Ferdinand is hoping for an even bigger celebration at the end of the season.

The stylish defender proved once again why he was named the Premiership's Player of the Month recently with another faultless performance in the 0-0 draw against Bolton Wanderers in the FA Cup fifth round, and believes that Hammers now have a great chance of progressing even further in the competition.

"I have preferred to celebrate my 21st with a win," he said, "but this is still a great result against a team who have one of the best home records in the Premiership.

"The main thing is that we didn't lose. It was also good to keep another clean sheet - our third in a row - and I thought we might have nicked it in the second half.

"You always know it will be a battle at Bolton, and I thought we handled their style of play well. Now we've got the chance to take them on at Upton Park and play our game.

"It's a great opportunity for us, and everyone will be really fired up for the replay. If we can get through that, we've got every chance of going even further because, on our day, we know we can give anyone a game."

As he boarded the coach before heading back to London to deservedly enjoy his birthday celebrations, the Hammers defender made a final point of paying tribute to the 5,000 travelling supporters who headed up to the Reebok Stadium.

"The fans were superb," said Anton. "They didn't stop singing throughout and the boys were all really grateful for support - as we have been all season.

"I'm glad that they went home happy with the result and now everyone can look forward to the replay at Upton Park.

"We know that, under the lights at our place, we can beat anyone. The crowd will be our 12th man, and hopefully that will spur us on to win the game."