Captain's blog - Everyone on a high

Lucas begins his latest whufc.com blog with a review of the 3-1 win against Sunderland, and in particular the performances of Carlton Cole, Craig Bellamy and Nolberto Solano while also finding special mention for Robert Green. He considers the weekend trip to Harry Redknapp's Portsmouth and touches on his hopes of building a "Wembley buzz" at the club.


It's amazing what a win can do for morale, the atmosphere in the changing room and at the training ground is much more upbeat now. Probably on performance it's not the best we've played in the last four games but there is a fine line between winning and losing in the Premier League and a win is a win and it keeps us in the pack that are chasing the big boys.

I was delighted to see Coley get on the scoresheet, he has been working really hard in training so really deserved a goal and it will do wonders for his confidence. It was also fantastic to see Bellars back from injury and Nobby to get his debut and have such a huge impact on the game. Greenie also deserves a big pat on the back for the fantastic save he made to keep us in the game and give us the platform to go on and get the three points.

We are now preparing for what will be a very hard game against a high-flying Portsmouth side. Fratton Park is a place no one likes to go to because the home crowd makes it a tough atmosphere. They are a strong and well organised team and have the added benefit of being able to field a consistent side week in, week out and any points we can grab there will be a bonus.

They are a team similar to us with the same mentality and ambitions for this season to break into Europe and that is why it is important to take any points we can off them. They are on a very good run at the moment so it will take a near-best performance from us to break that.

They have a good manager that a lot of Hammers fans still hold in high regard, I for one think he is great manager who always seems to get the best out of his players and I therefore have a lot of respect for him and a lot of respect for the team he has shaped at the moment. They may have good home support there but we have fantastic travelling support too and I hope we can give you something to cheer about on your way back to London.

A few of the players including myself have done public appearances for half-term this week in the club shops at the ground and Lakeside. There has been a great turn-out for all of them and it just makes you realise how big this club is and how many fans there are out there wanting to come and meet the players. It is great for us to be able to meet the fans, listen to their comments and thank them personally for their support.

Another reason why it is so imperative to put in a good performance against Portsmouth on Saturday is because it is quickly followed by another important away game to Coventry in the Carling Cup. We are all looking forward to that one. It has been chosen for Sky coverage because they will be hoping for an upset but we aim to spoil their party and Coventry's and put ourselves in that hat for the last eight and start to create the 'Wembley buzz'.

The two weeks leading up to the final found me in a dressing room full of boys who had jumped on the England rugby bandwagon. This week I have not even heard a whisper about the defeat in the final and am presuming everyone was quick to jump off!

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Lucas Neill