Bonzo backing Hammers in final home game

Billy Bonds has been involved in some important games with West Ham United down the years, but admits that today's clash against Bolton Wanderers is up there with the biggest of them.

The Hammers legend will be at Upton Park this afternoon cheering on Alan Curbishley's team in their final home match of the season and is hoping for another victory that will further boost the Club's chances of Premiership survival.

"It's certainly a huge game for the Club," says Bonzo. "I think everyone realises how important it is, but if the lads play as well as they did up at Wigan last week, then I'm sure they can get the result they need.

"The main thing for me is that we are least in with a shout. Two months ago, when we lost at Charlton, I think everyone thought that might be it, and if you'd said to the fans then that we could still be in with a fighting chance when Bolton came here, then I'm sure they would have taken it.

"It will be a tough game, because Bolton are never an easy side to play against, and they are still pushing for a European place. They are organised, and play to their strengths, but we have got enough quality in our side to give them a game.

"Outside of the top four, there isn't a great difference throughout the rest of the league and, as we showed against Everton, we are capable of beating those sides."

While there have been many changes at Upton Park since Bonzo ended his 27-year association with the Club back in 1994, some things have remained the same and one, in particular, never fails to impress the 60-year-old whenever he returns to the Boleyn Ground…

"The support of the fans is, as always, fantastic," he says. "I've been at the last few home matches and the one thing that has stood out is the crowd. Even when we were losing 4-1 against Chelsea, they didn't stop cheering or getting behind the team, and that's how they've always been.

"Even my wife, who has been watching football ever since I started playing, couldn't believe the atmosphere and how amazing the supporters were. They make such a difference and, I've got to be honest, if players can't respond to that, then they won't respond to anything."

And having been invited to recent home matches as a guest of Chairman Eggert Magnusson, Billy admits he is enjoying the experience.

"It is nice to be back," he says. "Eggert took the trouble to phone me up and invite us to the Middlesbrough game as his guests, and I really enjoyed it. I wasn't expecting to be presented to the crowd, but that was nice, and Eggert and his wife Nanna are lovely people who have really looked after us.

"I've been back to the other games since then, and it has been a pleasure to spend time with the chairman. You can tell he has really got the Club at heart, and I know the support of the fans has had a big impact on him. I think he realises what a special Club he has got, and I'm sure he'll bring success in the future."