Curbs looking ahead to new season

Alan Curbishley today revealed that the Hammers are raring to go for the big kick-off to the Barclays Premier League season against Manchester City on Saturday.

"We've all enjoyed pre-season," he said. "We've had a bit of a change around with staff and in the dressing room. We've picked up a couple of impact injuries, which has been disappointing, but we can't do anything to prevent those, we just have to work on the payers' rehabilitation.

"We're coming into the first game of the season and it's a new start for everybody. Unfortunately we'll be without Scott Parker and Lucas Neill against Manchester City. They both tweaked their knee ligaments but we're hoping they'll both be fit in time for our next match against Birmingham.

"The big disappointment is losing Julien Faubert to a lengthy injury, but we look forward to welcoming him back following his recovery."

Curbs is hoping the team, buoyed by new arrivals and the return of some familiar faces, can pick up where they left off on last season's winning run.

"If we may a start like that I'd be delighted," he said. "This is a new season and it feels like we've gained three new players in Dean Ashton, Matty Upson and Danny Gabbidon, who are all fit and looking forward to the season ahead.

"West Ham United are a big Club we made the back pages for the wrong reasons too many times last season. The Club needs a solid season now, after four topsy-turvy years.

"The players that have been through all that will have grown up immensely and this season will hopefully provide the base for pushing on. We're looking for a top ten finish. We'd like to finish in the first part of Ceefax, rather than the second!"