Galey's View

Tony Gale is backing Nigel Quashie to provide the experience and character that will help lift West Ham United clear of the Premiership relegation zone.

The former Hammers defender has followed the Scottish international's career since he broke through as a promising young star at Queens Park Rangers, and believes that Alan Curbishley has made an astute signing.

Nigel will bring a vast amount of experience to the squad," says Tony. "He is a two-footed midfield player - and there are not many of those about in today's game - who is very competitive and has a good shot on him from 20-25 yards out.

"I watched him a lot during his younger days at QPR and then when he moved to Portsmouth, and he is the type of player who will respond to the kind of challenge we currently face and lift others around him.

"The good thing is that he is the perfect age - at 28 he still has his best years in front of him as a central midfielder, yet also has more than 10 years of senior experience. I'm sure his character will make a big impression on the team and rub off on the younger players.

"It also means that we now have some good competition for places in the centre of midfield. With young Mark Noble now involved, and Lee Bowyer to come back from injury, we have four or five players who can fill those two spots, which is the kind of rivalry we need."