Captain's Log - Feb 10-16

Welcome to Nigel Reo-Coker's latest entry on, as the Hammers skipper presents his exclusive online diary...

Friday, February 10, 2006
With no game until Monday night, we were a given a day off, and I spent the whole day at home doing absolutely nothing! The only thing I did of any note was mess around on my X-Box 360, playing Perfect Dark and Dead or Alive 4. I played a little bit online - I think Bobby Zamora was also online but he was playing Call of Duty - and just spent the rest of the day chilling out.
Some people might think that we spend our days-off doing wild and exciting things, but it's not like that I'm afraid! A day off really means a day of rest and, especially at this stage of the season, I prefer to relax as much as I can. The games have been coming thick and fast, and you have to chill out as much as you can in between!

Saturday, February 11
Training was at Upton Park today, I don't think there was any particular reason for it, just a change of environment and the chance to work out our team plays on the pitch ahead of the game on Monday. The gaffer also named the team today, which is a bit earlier than usual, so we worked on the shape and attacking moves. After training, we had lunch up in one of the lounges - some really nice lamb cooked by Keith, one of the chefs at Upton Park, followed by apple crumble and custard, which was lovely!
Everyone then went their separate ways, and I took a trip to my barber, Steve, who gave me a little 'shape-up'. I normally have it cut short all over, but it's a bit cold at the moment, so I just had it tidied up around the edges.
On Saturday night, I just stayed in on my own and watched some TV. With a game in two days, the team were all staying in, while my other friends live in Northampton and Birmingham, so it's not as if they can just pop over to my house. I don't mind, though, I quite like own company sometimes, it gives you a chance to be peaceful and reflect on things.

Sunday, February 12
Training at Chadwell Heath ahead of tomorrow night's game against Birmingham. As it was the day before a match, we had our team meeting first thing in the morning, followed by a short and sharp session. It feels a bit weird to be training on a Sunday morning, because all the lads are obviously talking about the previous day's football, while we're obviously not playing until the next day, so you tend to feel a bit left behind!
In the afternoon, I went to see my mum, my sister and my nephew, and mum cooked us all dinner - my favourite Joloff rice dish. My friend Chris, who goes to university in Birmingham, was down to visit, and in the afternoon we took my mum to Macro so she could get her shopping, then I went home and played a bit of ISS on the X-Box against Chris.
The good thing about going to my mum's is that she provides me with a load of food to store in my freezer, ready to use whenever I need it. I can do a bit of cooking, but I prefer just to heat up some of mum's home cooking and know that I'm going to enjoy it!

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Monday, February 13

Matchday at Upton Park again, but a long wait until kick-off actually arrives! I was up at 9.30am, headed to Upton Park for midday, then the coach took us to a hotel at Canary Wharf, where we had some lunch - spaghetti Bolognese, which was very nice - then relaxed and had a sleep in the afternoon. That was followed by our pre-match meal of chicken and rice, before we headed back to the ground at about quarter to six.
All the lads enjoy playing at Upton Park under the lights, there's always a special atmosphere, and tonight was even more special because we had a tribute to Ron Greenwood before kick-off, and we knew it would mean a lot to the supporters to win with a bit of style.
We got off to a great start when Marlon scored after my shot was blocked and fell nicely for him. I found myself getting into some good positions around the edge of the box during the game, and the effort that led to Marlon's goal was a thunderbolt that was heading for the top corner, I can tell you!
It was also nice to keep a clean sheet, but the most important thing was simply that we won the game again. A lot of people are talking about how well we are doing at the moment but, personally, I won't be celebrating unless we actually achieve something at the end of the season - a trophy or a place in Europe. Until then, it's just take every game as it comes and keep trying to do the same things.
After the game, me and a few of the lads were going to go to a club in London, The Ten Rooms, but it was closed, so I treated myself to a chicken kebab instead and went home!

Tuesday, February 14
In training for a warm-down, so I got in early and had our chef Tim cook me a lovely fry-up - or should I say 'grill-up' - for breakfast! We only had a light session, and afterwards I went to see my aunt, before heading home.
Today was Valentine's Day, of course, but there were no cards arriving on my doormat, and none sent by me, either! I'm happy to be young, free and single at the moment, there's no special lady in my life, although I did have some flowers sent to my mum - the only woman who deserves any gift from me!

Wednesday, February 15
Our regular day-off in the middle of the week, and I spent most of the day looking at properties. At the moment I'm living in an apartment, and I want to buy a house because I need more space. I found a really nice house close to the area in Surrey where I currently live, and there are now a few negotiations to work out, so hopefully it will all go to plan.
I spent the evening at home, watching a DVD - series two of the Dave Chapelle show. He's an American stand-up comedian who is hilarious, and it was good just to sit in front of the TV having a real laugh.

Thursday, February 16
Came into training this morning and felt a bit unwell, so just did a light session before heading home to get some rest. With a big FA Cup game against Bolton Wanderers on Saturday, I didn't want to risk it developing into anything more serious, so it was a case of staying at home in the warm and getting some sleep.
The lads are all really looking forward to the cup tie, we've put ourselves in a good position in the league and we can afford to focus on this match 100%. I've heard we will be taken around 6,000 supporters to the game, and I'm sure they'll make it a great atmosphere, so let's hope we can produce another winning performance on Saturday.

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