Curbs looking forward to Blackburn encounter

Alan Curbishley delivered some team news after taking training at Upton Park today - and confirmed that the squad looked sharp ahead of Saturday's trip to Blackburn.

"We've had a good training session today," he said. "We've had most of them out there. We've had one or two knocks from the Spurs game so we're not really going to know who's going to be travelling until tomorrow.

"Upson definitely won't be involved but we'll have one or two of them back, like James Collins. We've got enough bodies to get on with it and I'm looking for them to continue on the effort they put in against Spurs and take it to Blackburn.

"They've trained very well again this week and we go into every game looking forward to it. I'm hoping we get the result on Saturday because we do need a result very badly to give ourselves a lift and we're looking at the Blackburn game for that."

Curbs admitted he'd be looking for a similarly determined performance from his players as they delivered against Spurs.

"I think Spurs were on top of their game when they came to Upton Park and I think Blackburn will be when we play them," he said. "The run Blackburn have had in recent weeks is very similar to the run Spurs are on.

"So we know we've got a tough game on and it's always tough going there anyway. The effort and improvement against Spurs as opposed to the Charlton game, we need to carry that on.

"There were a lot of positives to come out of the Spurs game. The performance and the effort they put in as a team and I think the fans got behind it. We just couldn't hold on, it was very similar to the Fulham game.

"But we are in a position where we need to get some wins so we are going to go up to Blackburn feeling positive. It's an opportunity for us to try and pick a win up and if we can do that it will give everybody a lift."

With another two-week break set to follow Saturday's game, Curbs admitted there were pros and cons to playing one game in four weeks.

"We took a couple of injuries against Spurs. Quashie, for example, had to have a few stitches in his ankle. In some respects the break has given that a chance to clear up. But I think when you're in our position you probably want to keep going and keep playing.

"When you come to this time of year, some clubs may look forward to having a little break and some clubs don't. With the amount of injuries we've had since I've been at the club, perhaps this break may give an opportunity for one or two more to clear up after Saturday before we go into the next game."

One of the injuries Hammers fans will be hoping to see clear up in the near future is Dean Ashton's ankle and the striker is due to be reassessed this week in the hope of returning to action soon.

"Since I've been at the club there's been lots of talk that Dean was on his way back," Curbs said. "The first conversation I had with him was a positive one but I did say to him that in my eyes you're going to be fit and available when you're fit and available. I'm not one of those managers who puts pressure on people - and certainly not when players have been out the amount of time he has been out.

"I think he's had a couple of knock-backs but this week he's going to see another couple of specialists who will review his situation and I'm confident that by the time he's had that done he won't be too far away. I think that it's just another little hurdle he'll have to get over. He's in training every day and he's doing everything he can."