Yossi confident Hammers will rise to European challenge

Yossi Benayoun is one of the few West Ham players with experience of playing in the UEFA Cup in the past with his former team Racing Santander, but he doesn't believe the lack of European experience in the team will hinder the Hammers in any way.

"I don't think it will effect us at all. We have a strong team, we believe in ourselves and how we play and can take up the challenge, there will be no problem about that. We have a good record at home and we have a lot of confidence going into this match."

Foreign teams often play a very different style of football to that of the Premiership but Yossi is confident West Ham's style is suited to the European stage.

"I think our style will work well for us on Thursday. A lot of teams in Europe play quick and strong, and like to go forward a lot like us. What is important is to just try and play our game. We perhaps didn't play as well against Aston Villa at the weekend, but we know we can press teams a lot more and go forward and if we keep our game plan we know, we can win the match."

It is fair to say the Israeli Captain certainly seems to have done his homework on Palermo and feels West Ham have the right players and quality to outsmart the Italian outfit and progress through the competition.

"I know quite a lot about Palermo, I watched a lot of Italian football back in Israel and have watched some since coming here. They are a strong side, like most Italian sides they play very tight football and also press a lot. It will be a hard game, but as I said, I believe in our team and I believe we can win.

We have a lot of quality throughout our team, from Nigel, to Hayden to Matty and many more. We have to look at getting through these two games as I think we can do well in the group stages too."

Yossi believes being in Europe and with the recent acquisition of Tevez and Mascherano that the Club is certainly going places and putting the memories of relegation firmly in the past.

"There is a lot of work to do but we have a strong team, two World class players have joined us and we have taken more big steps which we will continue to do. Another step is Thursday's game, if we can get through that and get to the next stage, that's another step in getting to the next level.

"All the talk surrounding the club is not distracting for the players, we just get on with training and working hard, and if more things change further in the future it will only be for the good of the Club and we will deal with those changes as well.

"The team as it is now, must work hard because we all want to take the club onto bigger things and I believe we have the right quality of players here who can do this."

Being the only Spanish speaker in the side, Yossi has been handed the responsibility of making sure the new signings settle in well, although the Manager has been trying his best.

"It was good to hear the boss speaking a bit of Spanish today but I asked him how come he didn't learn Hebrew when I arrived last year! His Spanish can improve, but he's doing ok.

I know how to speak Spanish and if it helps them settle in and helps them with their play, then it's good and I am happy to help.

It may mean I have to be in the team all the time which is good as long as they play but it can also mean that I will be left out if they are, as well, so all of us will just have to keep working hard to be in the team."