Gabbidon back in the picture

Danny Gabbidon is looking forward to getting back in action for West Ham United and competing for his place in the team.

The Welsh international defender has been out since suffering a groin injury which forced him to leave the field against Everton in the Carling Cup tie in December. The problem kept Gabbidon on the sidelines over the busy festive schedule, but he is hoping to be available for selection soon - perhaps even for this Sunday's league trip to Manchester City.

Speaking at a West Ham United Learning Zone event at the Boleyn Ground alongside Nolberto Solano this week, Gabbidon said: "It's always frustrating when you are out injured, as you just want to be out there playing. But I am pleased to be back in training now. While the FA Cup match against City was a bit too soon for me, there is maybe a chance I will possibly be available for the league game against them, but if not, certainly after that."

It will be a further boost to Alan Curbishley and the team to see another player out of the treatment room, but Gabbidon is fully aware he will have to fight to win his place back. "There is competition for places across the team when everyone is fit, so we are all aware that if any of us don't play well enough or work hard enough, then there is someone to take our place.

"I think the competition is particularly fierce in the central defender position," the 28-year-old added. "With Anton [Ferdinand], Matty [Upson], James [Collins] and myself as well as other players in the squad, we know we all can't play together so it is a case of winning your place and making sure you keep it.

"It is all friendly rivalry. We all wish each other well because we want the team to do well, whoever is playing but, at the end of the day, you want to be the one the manager picks. For me, coming back from injury and with Anton and Matty doing well, I will have to just continue to work as hard as I can and grab my chance when it comes along.

"It is a good thing for West Ham though that we have good quality central defenders competing for just a couple of places and indeed the whole squad is strong, so that can only help us go forward as the season goes on."

For more information about the Learning Zone, click here