Marlon Hits the Spot

There was no hiding the unmistakable grin of Marlon Harewood as he emerged from the Villa Park dressing rooms on Saturday evening.

The Hammers striker was beaming from ear to ear after slotting home the winner from the penalty spot against David O'Leary's men and was quick to express his delight at helping the team get back on track in the Premiership.

"It was a great result and we fully deserved it after our second half performance," said Marlon. "I can't explain why we didn't really get going in the first half, but the gaffer had a few words at half-time and we went back out there determined to turn it around.

"Bobby got a great goal for the equaliser and I was happy to score the second, but it was a fantastic team effort that won us the game, and all the lads are delighted with the three points.

"It shows the character and spirit in the team, and now we've got to keep it going to make sure we stay in the top half of the table."

His confident strike from the penalty spot signalled Marlon's 10th Premiership goal of the campaign, four of which have been scored against Villa, following his hat-trick in our 4-0 defeat in the corresponding fixture back in September.

"Yeah, I've done fairly well against Villa, and it's nice to get into double figures by this stage of the season," said the 26-year-old. "Hopefully I can keep going and get a few more, but the most important thing is that the team keep winning."

And despite Alan Pardew's recent suggestion that he would like to give his bustling number 10 a rest following his involvement in every single league and cup match played by the Hammers this season, Marlon himself certainly doesn't want to take a back seat.

"I don't want to be rested!" he exclaimed. "Especially in the Premier League, I'm enjoying it so much and I want to play as much as I can.

"It's good that we have competition for places here but I'm just like every other striker - I want to play and score goals!"