Captain's Blog - Rovers return

Lucas Neill begins his weekly blog with praise for Scott Parker and Carlton Cole after a fine display at Chelsea last week before turning his attentions to his return to Blackburn Rovers on Sunday. There is also a look ahead to the Everton cup game while the captain also makes special mention of two special squad events.

I thought we put in a fantastic display against Chelsea last Saturday and we were unlucky not to come away with a point. To keep a top-four side to one shot on target, which was the goal, on their home soil as well was fantastic. We can take a lot of heart from the performance and we go into this weekend's game in a positive frame of mind.

Special mentions must go to Scotty Parker who unfortunately did run out of gas but showed the kind of form to justify why we brought him here. Also Coley, who did extremely well against his old club to make two world-class centre-halves look average, and to my two centre-halves who kept a vibrant Didier Drogba very quiet.

Last year saw us start our fantastic run at my former club and nothing but a win will also do this weekend. They are a very organised and fit outfit and I have great respect for Mark Hughes and his team but there will be no greater pleasure than matching them for their work rate and taking the spoils. This is another crucial week in our fixture list where we play the teams in and around us and have a semi-final place at stake. We want to start the week as we mean to go on at Ewood Park with a convincing performance and three points in the bag.

Christmas is a busy period for games but also sees us fulfilling commitments off the field. This week half the squad was invited to the Junior Hammers Christmas party on Sunday. We got a great reception from the kids and hopefully helped make their party a success. It is always great to be able to spend time meeting our younger fans and bring a smile to their faces by posing for photos and signing autographs, it is a small way of saying thanks for their support.

Also this week, the whole first-team squad took a truck load of toys and West Ham goody bags to the Queens Hospital in Romford. The boys played Santa for the day handing out presents to kids who unfortunately find themselves injured or ill at a time when they should be at home enjoying the festivities so the aim really was to bring a smile to their faces and do what we could to cheer them up. I don't know who had more fun, the kids or the nurses! But all the staff do deserve a lot of credit for doing a job that is very unselfish. It takes a very special person to do it so it was nice to know we had brightened their day as well.

Looking forward to the Everton cup game on Wednesday, I am hoping for an intimidating atmosphere and a genuine opportunity to win a game that will get us into a cup semi-final. Both teams will fancy their chances but at home I am hoping that with your help we will have the edge.

So thank you to all those that make the trip to Ewood Park on Sunday afternoon. Let's hope we make it a happy trip home and thank you in advance for the proverbial 12th-man support we are going to need against Everton on Wednesday.

Lucas Neill signature

Lucas Neill