'Looking upwards' the key for Curbs

Alan Curbishley is expecting West Ham United to push on for the rest of the season.

The trip to Manchester City sees the club looking to build on a run of six wins and four draws from the last 13 league games - with only defeats against Chelsea, Arsenal and Everton in that run, all of whom are top five sides. "We can all see where we can get to," said the manager. "If we can get a result on Sunday, we may catch one of the teams above us. We are pushing, we are looking to the games, and looking to try and get in that top six, seven or eight.

"We are quite pleased with how the results went last weekend. The people behind us didn't pick any points up and we can see a couple of teams above us. Going to Man City, if we get the result we can see them as well." While a win would move the tenth-placed Hammers to within four points of City in seventh with a game in hand, they are also just two points adrift of Portsmouth and four behind Blackburn Rovers. "Portsmouth are catchable and it is something that we have got to be looking at now. Looking upwards as opposed to looking downwards."

"We feel that we have given ourselves a base. We have given ourselves a bit of a chance to push on so let's see where it takes us. We have got two games coming up against top opposition and we need to come out the other end of it. If we can get anything out of Man City we then face Liverpool [on 30 January] which should be a great game for everybody and we will see where we are."

The manager has already reported promising news on the injury front and soon expects to be in a position to have headaches in choosing his first eleven. "Most weeks, the team selection has been quite easy and I was hoping it was going to be a little bit more difficult. I am hoping that in the run-in that will be the case.

He also expects the fixture programme to give his side every chance of sustaining a challenge on the leading contenders. "We looked at the run-in and we feel it is an even run-in for us, in terms of each month is sprinkled with perhaps one of the top four but the rest of them are games that we should attack. I know it is a little bit early to be talking about the run-in but we are on the way home and let's see what it brings."