Captain's Blog - Everton again

Lucas Neill reflects on a fine away win at Blackburn Rovers, with Robert Green and Dean Ashton particularly impressive, and the disappointment of the midweek cup exit to Everton. He touches on the determination on Saturday to avenge Wednesday's loss and also has positive words for the changes behind the scenes.


We all knew it was going to be a tough trip to Ewood Park and credit must go to the boys for being fully focused and executing the game plan perfectly. The boys not only wanted to win to prove a point to themselves but there seemed to be added incentive to get the win from me which I am very thankful of.

A special mention again must go to my fellow defenders and I include Greenie in that, for another solid display and clean sheet, to my midfielders for winning the hard-fought battle and for the forwards who worked tirelessly and in particular Dean Ashton who had a huge impact coming off the bench.

The games are coming thick and fast, and it's unfortunate that we came up against a strong Everton team with a squad that is very thin at the moment due to cup-tied players, niggly injuries and long-term injuries. Having said that I am disappointed at the manner we exited the competition, in a game that was very much in the balance. It wasn't the prettiest of games but I thought we had done enough, without being at our best, to take the game into extra time.

It's great to have Everton again so quickly so we can exact some revenge for the hurt that we are feeling from Wednesday night. It is also about time we put some wins on the board at home to capitalise on the impressive away form we are showing. It is imperative that we win this weekend to build on last week's result and keep ourselves firmly in the hunt for the European places. There is a gap opening up between the top half and bottom half and we need to put pressure on ourselves and the teams around us to stay in that top half.

We and in particular I am sorry to see Eggert Magnusson move on from his post as Chairman of West Ham. He was a very influential part of me signing here at the club and I am sad to see him go. He has left the club in a much better position than he found it and he must be recognised for that and everybody down here at the training ground wishes him all the best for the future and the dressing room door is always open.

Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson, known to most people as BG, has taken up the role of Chairman and for those that don't know him he is the driving force behind everything that has taken place at West Ham in the last year and believe me when I say this he is a man looking to do great things for this club. We look forward to seeing more of him in and around Upton Park.

I welcome the fans, players and staff of Everton for the second time this week, I am sure they will be looking to do the double over us of course but we are fired up and ready to ensure that does not happen.

Thank you for everybody's support during the week and a special mention to those who travelled to Blackburn on Sunday. As this is the last home game before Christmas, let's hope the boys can give your loyal support its just rewards in the lead up to the intensive festive period.

Lucas Neill signature

Lucas Neill