Curbs cheered by comeback win

Alan Curbishley has revealed his satisfaction at the spirit within the West Ham United camp that saw them come from behind to take the points for the third time in five league matches.

Saturday's visit of Fulham was the first league encounter at the Boleyn Ground since the 2-1 fightback against the champions on 29 December. That Manchester United triumph came after the same scoreline was secured away to Middlesbrough seven days before. "The Man United result was a similar thing," Curbishley acknowledged of his team's 'never say die' attitude. "We have gone one down and had to battle back.

With the tenth-placed club six points ahead of the bottom half of the table and boasting a game in hand, Curbishley admitted "we could have an interesting run-in"at the Boleyn Ground. He added: "I am just pleased we got the result. It was a big result for us. We spoke about it before the game - cementing our position in the top half. We will see what the second half of the season brings."

As well as the boost of Julien Faubert's late debut, the presence of Freddie Ljungberg and Matthew Etherington on either wings and the substitute appearances of Luis Boa Morte and Lee Bowyer underlined the clearing treatment room. The manager also confirmed Craig Bellamy was back in full training and Bobby Zamora was due to join in completely from Monday.

Looking back to Saturday's contest, the manager was though disappointed with the circumstances that led to Simon Davies' eighth-minute free-kick that eluded everyone in the box including goalkeeper Robert Green. "I didn't think we started so well and it was totally against what we were saying before the game - 'get a fast start and get going'.

"They scored a really soft goal. It was great delivery from Davies but when you see the marking again it is a dreadful goal. But we got back in it. It was a tough game and I think it was always going to be a tough game. There are no gimmies in the Premier League. Fulham are having a tough time and are down the bottom - they are all difficult."

The comeback was kick-started by Dean Ashton who scored a superb headed equaliser in the 28th minute from Ljungberg's cross. On another day, the hard-working No9 could have had a hat-trick with goalkeeper Antti Niemi producing one memorable stop in particular. "We feel that if we can give Dean the chances, he will take them," said Curbishley. "He is a really good finisher. Niemi has made a fantastic save from another one of his efforts. It is just a question of him getting a bit sharper and us playing a bit better to create some chances."

The winner came in the 69th minute from Anton Ferdinand, after Mark Noble refused to give up on a ball that appeared to be going out. The midfielder pulled the ball back for Ferdinand, who headed the equaliser against United a fortnight ago, to fire past Niemi. It was a welcome goal for Curbishley, not least because "Anton was the one that copped it at half-time". Focusing on the defence's early approach as a whole, he added: "I wasn't happy with the way we started. They came out second half determined to put it right.

"I am more pleased that Mark Noble realised the ball was staying in as opposed to going out and he carried on and got it. We felt if we could get some balls in the box we could cause a few problems from set plays. I think they have cleared one off the line. Antti Niemi has made a couple of saves so perhaps overall we have created the chances. I am delighted."