Lucas reflects on survival battle

Having signed for West Ham United in January, Australian international Lucas Neill has been an integral part of the Club's resurgence to clinch Premiership survival. But the defender insists the credit should be taken collectively.

"It has been a big team effort from the back room staff through to the players," he said. "To go to Arsenal away and Old Trafford and win is a phenomenal effort. Seven wins out of 9 is the kind of form that puts you in the Champions League and not in the bottom four.

"For me the turning point was the Tottenham game, which is weird because that's when everyone had written us off. I actually thought that was when we showed we had a chance because of how we played.

"If we'd had a bit of confidence and a bit of belief we wouldn't have thrown away the leads that we did. We worked hard and we built from it and we are where we are now."

Lucas believes confidence was the vital missing ingredient from some of the Hammers' performances earlier in the season.

"It's all about belief and confidence," he said. "Once you go out and believe you can win any game, there's no reason why you can't go out and beat anyone. We've proven that.

"It was like the fans, we lost them before the Tottenham game because they thought that was it, then we won them back and got them believing. They were the proverbial twelfth man."

The 29-year-old was relieved to help ensure the Hammers' Premiership future, but insists there is far better to come.

"I came here, not so much for this season, but for next; to build and to buy into the Chairman's dream," said Lucas. "He's a very ambitious man and he's a big football man.

"He wants to do really well and this is as much for him and his gamble as it is for us. You'll see bigger and better things at West Ham now - and what we've got going for us is fans.

"We've got 50 - 60, 000 fans, they're all London people and we have to produce bigger and better football teams and go from strength to strength. The most important thing is that we never end up in this position again."

To see the full interview with Lucas, log on to WHUTV here .