Reasons to be cheerful for Curbs

Alan Curbishley has reflected on a great afternoon that saw his West Ham United side move up to fourth in the fledgling Barclays Premier League table.

The turning point in the 4-1 defeat of Blackburn Rovers was Robert Green's superb penalty stop from Jason Roberts just after half-time. His manager, who was not best pleased with the decision to penalise Carlton Cole for handball, was quick to point out that it was not just down to luck. "Greeny studies penalty takers. After we give our presentation to the players about the opposition, we then go through the penalties. He sits there and then he wants to see them again to take stock of what's going on. It was a fantastic save and he made a couple of others."

That save set the tone for the remainder of the contest, which had begun brightly with goals from Calum Davenport and an own goal by Christopher Samba before Roberts pulled one back almost immediately. With nerves beginning to jangle in added time, substitute Craig Bellamy and the tireless Cole made sure of a second successive 4-1 scoreline after the midweek Carling Cup win.

Curbishley was particularly pleased with his replacements - George McCartney getting another run-out under his belt and, most emphatically, the return of Bellamy. "We all know what we've got with him [Bellamy]. Whoever he plays with and whenever he plays it gives us something different and when we get the squad together we've got a bit of pace around the place. It looks like we've got a few new players in some respects.

"We're delighted by the result; everyone needed it connected with the club. Blackburn demonstrated what they are - a very good club firmly established in the Premier League and their last three seasons have proved that - either getting in Europe or forcing the issue around about it," he added.

"We knew it was going to be a difficult game and we raced into that two-goal lead like we did against Wigan but a minute after we got that second goal they were back in it and they were always in the game. Second half they were forcing the issue and I'm delighted we got the result because the result was the most important thing."

Curbishley also explained that he substituted Julien Faubert and Dean Ashton to rest them after their exertions at Manchester City and then against Macclesfield Town, and added that Ashton would be available should England give him the call for the World Cup qualifiers against Andorra and Croatia. "I knew we had one or two people under pressure, because of the week ... I had to play it safe a little bit. Dean's alright, he was just running out of steam a little bit, he said."

With internationals about to take centre stage, the club focus has switched to the trip to West Bromwich Albion on 13 September, with extra defensive reinforcements on the way to challenge the impressive partnership of Matthew Upson and Davenport. "I'm pleased the two weeks have come along as one or two of the others can get fitter. [James] Collins and [James] Tomkins are both in full training."