Nolberto Solano will have nothing other than a professional approach if selected for Saturday's visit of his former employers Newcastle United to the Boleyn Ground.
The popular Peruvian midfielder had two spells with the north-east club, the second lasting two years until Alan Curbishley swooped to bring him south to West Ham United last August. Although hugely popular on Tyneside, Solano is focused only on ensuring a strong end to the season. "I have a lot of friends at Newcastle but we need to win to help us finish in a good position. It is always a special to play against big clubs - not just Newcastle but teams like Spurs, Chelsea and Liverpool."
"We have to be professional, getting a win on Saturday is all we are thinking about. It is nothing personal, although I had a great relationship with the fans and had a great time there, but the only thing I will be thinking about is helping us win the game. I am proud to be a West Ham player." Solano expects the side to be better for getting back to winning ways last weekend against Derby County but knows "it will be very tough." He added: "We need to be show a strong mentality, improve our play and create more chances for the strikers to score. I hope we can improve that in the last three games"
In recent weeks, Solano, who has now made 20 league appearances this campaign and scored three goals, has often had to content himself with a place on the bench but he showed against Derby, in creating a decent late chance for Bobby Zamora, that he is a threat whenever involved. "When I come in, I try to do my best," he said. "We all want to start but if we are coming off the bench we have to take our chance. When I play, my first thing is to assist the strikers to score goals. I just want to do my best for the team."