Julien Faubert was thrilled to finally make his debut for West Ham United after a late substitute appearance in the victory against Fulham
"I am very happy," said the France winger in English after getting a brief taste of the Boleyn Ground with his first fully competitive action since suffering an achilles injury in pre-season on 17 July. "I want to give pleasure to the fans and to do that I have to be on the pitch."
The 24-year-old was particularly moved by the chants of 'Julien, Julien' that greeted him. It began when he started warming-up on the sidelines and then again as he waited in the closing stages to come on as a replacement for Freddie Ljungberg. "I heard them supporting me and I am very happy. There was a big cheer when I was preparing. I just played two minutes but for me, and for my mind, it was good"
Having had a taste of Premier League football, the summer signing from Bordeaux is itching to get another run-out in Wednesday's FA Cup third-round replay at Manchester City. "I hope I can play maybe 25 minutes or 45 minutes in the FA Cup. For my body, it is good to play. I want to be in contention for the next match."
Whether Faubert gets that midweek call will be up to his manager, and Alan Curbishley said it was important to still tread carefully. "To be honest, it is too early for Faubert," he said. "He has played half a game in the reserves on Monday. He is still going through a pre-season situation but Freddie Ljungberg came off injured against Arsenal so I didn't know if he was going to last. Lee Bowyer has been out for eight weeks so I didn't know if he was going to last.
"I spoke to Julian yesterday and he was so keen. He said he felt really good but I am not too sure how long he would have lasted. I didn't want to expose him. We have waited so long to get him fit and we have still got to wait a little longer. It was good to get him out there, the fans have seen him for a minute."