Captain's Blog - United for derby day

Last Monday saw us come home from Liverpool with a great result and a resilient performance from everyone. After being told by whoever wanted to tell us that we hadn't kept a clean sheet for ages, we now have three under our belts in successive games and what a place to get the third.

I think we executed the match perfectly. We had a few scares like you would expect at somewhere like Anfield but we defended strongly and could have nicked a goal ourself. If someone had given us 0-0 before the game we would have all taken that - I think it had been something like ten years or so since we last managed a point there.

It has also been over 40 years since we won there and we came so close to matching that result. It has given us another great lift and everyone in the dressing room is now raring to go against Tottenham on Monday night. It is the biggest match of the season for our fans and we all know what it means for us to get a result over our London rivals. We will be going all out to try and achieve that.

The table is such that three points can move you right up into the top half of the table so, as well as taking local pride, if we can win this game we can also look to move up the table.

I welcome the manager, staff and players of Tottenham Hotspur. They as a team have improved on their form under new manager Harry Redknapp but we have to be focused and composed in what we are trying to do and get the right result. Harry, of course, was a former manager here and will get a tasty reception from our fans for sure but as I said we will just be focusing on the game in hand.

Everyone remembers the 4-3 result a couple of seasons ago, It was a game which turned our season around and we went on to achieve what was known as our 'Great Escape'. I am sure it will be another rousing game but hopefully with us on the winning side this time. Since I came here to West Ham I have not been on the winning side against Tottenham yet so hopefully that will all change.

This week has seen some comments in the papers which were taken from one of our players, but saw his words totally twisted around. They took quotes from a player whose first language is not English and have tried to put this in a way that might put our fans against him. I don't need to mention the player's name but he, like everyone in the dressing room, is totally committed to the cause that we are working to at West Ham. 

It won't undermine the spirit we have here and as I said the commitment we have as a team. Football is a funny game - who knows what can happen, but I wouldn't bet against him having a major influence on a positive outcome for us in Monday night's game.

Also this week the boys have been out and about on the community front. Bellars visited a great project in Newham which is being run in conjunction with our community dept here at the club - the Bengali women's football scheme. Greeny got to speak at an anti-knife campaign which was held at our stadium organised by the Metropolitan Police and then half the squad went to the first of two youth academy Christmas parties.

This is a very important part of the calendar for us and we were delighted to meet several of our young fans who are the future of this club. From what we could tell everyone had a good time and enjoyed the party. The second of these will take place on 21 December and the rest of the squad will visit.

Once again on behalf of all the boys I would like to thank all our fans who travelled up to Liverpool to support us - they got some reward for it with the result and performance. Going back to Monday 's game we are looking to build on the last three results and also get some bragging rights over our London neighbours.

Enjoy the game.

Lucas Neill signature

Lucas Neill