Faubert hoping for home start

Julien Faubert has high hopes of getting his first start at the Boleyn Ground this weekend with the visit of Chelsea.

The fit-again France winger appeared in the West Ham United starting eleven for the first time in last week's 1-0 win at Fulham. After four previous substitute appearances, including two at home, he is in contention on Saturday to finally experience what it is like to run out to the sounds of Bubbles. He certainly relished being involved from the off last weekend. "I enjoyed making my first start. I am also very happy because I felt no pain, no problems and we won. I feel better game after game and this is good for me."

After some tricky encounters against struggling sides who like to get plenty of men behind the ball, the pacy Faubert, a summer signing from Bordeaux, is ready to show his true ability in the Chelsea contest. "I hope I play," he said. "It will be good for my style of play. It is a big game and they are a big team. We are at home and we have the chance to win. I know it is a big game and that it means a lot to the fans. I will do everything to help us win and get the three points."

If extra incentive were needed, Faubert will have additional support this weekend. "My family are coming from France to see the game. I am really happy about that and it will be a good day," he added. The 24-year-old is like his team-mates in believing that the team still has every chance in the final dozen fixtures of the season of finishing high enough to qualify for the UEFA Cup. "The win against Fulham was good for us, good for the season. We want to play in Europe."

Faubert may not have made a first-team start at home yet but he did get an extended 90 minute run-out at the Boleyn Ground on 12 February in the 4-1 reserve-team win against Birmingham City. In a superb right-wing display against strong opposition, he made three of his team's four goals, notably two superb crosses for Bobby Zamora on his way to a hat-trick that underlined why he too could be in contention to face Chelsea.

Both men spent the first six months of the season on the sidelines but an achilles injury allowed Faubert the chance to observe the determination at West Ham United for success - a desire underlined at Fulham when the team had to keep going for the result. "It was a good solid team performance and we won it at the end. We have a great defence. We tried to score and we kept going and finally did it. I know it is a hard league because there is a lot of contact but we won and it was good for our position. I am enjoying it here."