Jimmy hoping to make a dream debut

Jimmy Walker admits it would be a dream come true to finally make his Premiership debut on Saturday.

With Shaka Hislop ruled out after sustaining a hamstring strain for the visit of Portsmouth to Upton Park, Alan Pardew has named the former Walsall goalkeeper in his squad for the first time since last year's Championship play-off final at the Millennium Stadium, when he suffered a serious knee ligament injury in the closing stages of our 1-0 victory over Preston North End.

After battling through a gruelling rehabilitation programme on his way back to fitness, the 32-year-old has come through three outings with the reserve team and is now hoping to get the nod over Stephen Bywater for tomorrow's clash against Harry Redknapp's men.

"I'm absolutely delighted to be back in the squad," says Jimmy. "Of course I'm disappointed for Shaka, who has been tremendous since Roy got injured, but I'm sure that either myself or Stephen can come in and do a good job for the team.

"I've said all along that, if I could play any part in the Premiership before the end of the season, it would be a massive bonus for me, and a dream come true after waiting so long to reach the top level.

"I've played three games for the reserves recently and came through those okay, so I consider myself ready to play. I might have to live on memory a little bit, but I'm sure I'll be okay if called upon!"