Marlon raring to go again

Marlon Harewood says he and his team-mates are raring to go again after a three-week break from Premiership football.

Alan Pardew's men get back to action against Everton at Upton Park today hoping for a repeat of their last league encounter - the 3-0 victory over Birmingham City back on February 13.

Following our FA Cup fifth round draw at Bolton Wanderers five days later, the squad enjoyed last weekend off and, having not been involved on international duty, Marlon is eager to get back out on the field again.

"I think we needed that break," says the 26-year-old striker. "It gave us a chance to rest and relax ahead of what could be a very busy few weeks.

"It was also nice to have a break when things are going well. We were able to go away knowing that we have worked hard and played well recently, and everyone has come back with a spring in their step.

"Personally, I haven't felt any tiredness recently. I've played in every game this season, but that suits me fine because I want to play every week. We've got so many good strikers at the Club now, and none of us want to miss out."

For Marlon, today's game will provide the opportunity to push himself closer to the top of the Premiership scoring charts. He currently sits in sixth place with 12 goals, just seven behind leading marksman Ruud Van Nistelrooy - a sign of the progress he has made over the past year.

"At the start of the season, I set myself a target of working as hard as I possibly could to help the team and scoring 15 goals in the Premiership," he reveals. "I've got 12 already, so hopefully I'll beat that target before the end of the season

"I was confident that I would score goals and play well in the Premiership. A few people questioned my ability when I missed a couple of chances against Bolton at the start of the season, but I didn't let it worry me and hopefully I have now gone some way to proving that I am good enough for this level."

Alan Pardew has certainly been impressed by the performances of his powerful striker this season - so much so that he has tipped Marlon as a possible contender for Sven-Goran Eriksson's World Cup squad in the summer - but the player himself insists he won't be dreaming of Germany in the weeks ahead.

"No, I'm not thinking about England at this moment in time," he says. "This is my first full season in the Premiership and I am just concentrating on playing well and scoring goals for West Ham.

"Don't get me wrong, of course I would love to go to the World Cup - I would love to play for England full stop, but there are a lot of strikers in front of me who have been scoring goals in the Premiership for a couple of years now.

"All I can do is carry on working hard and scoring goals, and hopefully my time will come in the future."