Captain's Blog - A good start

It was a fantastic way to start the season with a win at home and a very impressive first- half performance. Granted we rode our luck at times in the second half. However, it is the result that counts and it gives us a platform and confidence to build on. I have said it on numerous occasions that the crowd plays a crucial role for us and this year we need you once again. Teams will be turning up hoping to get a result which is why you the fans have to make the atmosphere an intimidating one and Upton Park a daunting place to come.

It was great to see Deano start the season off with a brace and had it not been for the scare with his calf I am sure he would have joined Matty Upson for a well earned England call-up. A few of us have been with our respective countries this week, Valon Behrami helped Switzerland to a great 4-1 win over Cyprus, Mark Noble was deservedly handed the armband against Slovenia for the Under-21s where they won 2-1 and I captained my side to a 2-2 draw against South Africa. It is always an honour to play for your country but I have to admit the timing was strange having only played one game of the season.

This week we travel to the City of Manchester stadium to take on my former boss and a Manchester City team who started the season with a 4-2 loss to Aston Villa. On the back of their defeat and our victory we go there positive and determined to put together early back to back wins and keep the momentum going. I feel it is a good time for us to be visiting Manchester City when Mark Hughes' influence may not quite be in full flow yet. However, you can be guaranteed of a very tough game and you know you will have come away with points the hard way.

Shortly following that will be Wednesday's game against Macclesfield Town. We want to advance further than we did last year in our Carling Cup campaign and are hoping to get past the quarter-final stage. So with a home draw and a bit of luck along on the way we could have a successful campaign. It is a competition that must be taken seriously as it is a path to Europe and it is an opportunity to win some silverware. I look forward to the no doubt electric atmosphere evening games at Upton Park inevitably generate.

Thank you in advance to those who travel up this weekend and for your support on Wednesday,

Lucas Neill signature

Lucas Neill