Etherington determined for derby

West Ham United winger Matthew Etherington does not need any extra incentive to be fired up for Sunday's derby match against his old employersTottenham Hotspur.

"It's a massive game for everybody," he said in a special press conference available to see exclusively on WHUTV. "It doesn't need any hyping up, although obviously it's my former club. I didn't have the best of times there but that was five years ago and I like to think I've moved on. I've been really happy this season, I think I've been playing consistently well and this year has been good for me."

The 26-year-old Etherington has been a regular fixture in Alan Curbishley's side in what has proved a profitable campaign, scoring three goals from his eleven appearances to date. He has seen many of his team-mates suffer injury setbacks, but believes the team have coped extremely well under the circumstances.

"We've had our backs against the wall with regard to injuries this season," he said. "We've had games and training sessions where there's been hardly anyone out there. But we've got results and everyone's been very professional. Most clubs wouldn't have been able to put up with the amount of injuries we've had."

As a youngster coming through the ranks at Tottenham between 1999 and 2003, Etherington was frustrated by the lack of opportunities for first-team action and eventually left the club for east London. With England failing to qualify this week for the 2008 European Championship, he believes the influx of big-money signings form abroad has had both a positive and negative effect on the English game.

"It definitely helps improve the standard of the game in terms of domestic football," he said. "Supporters come to watch the best players and it brings in money but for the English lads it's got to hold you back in some ways. When I was at Tottenham I had [German international] Christian Ziege in front of me and it was implicit that he would always be in front of me, no matter how well I played when I came in. I knew that was the case no matter how well I did. I was only 19 or 20 at the time and I found it really disheartening. So it's true that when I play against Tottenham for West Ham I want to do well and prove a point."

  • You can see Etherington's press conference on WHUTV, along with the thoughts of Alan Curbishley, Dean Ashton and Tony Gale. WHUTV will also have full live commentary during the match.