Dyer aiming higher

Kieron Dyer is fully focused on a big season both personally and for West Ham United and is relishing the prospect of being back in the first-team picture.

With just three appearances before he suffered a season-ending double leg-break last August, Dyer has worked tirelessly to recover in time for the new campaign. Should he prove his fitness to Alan Curbishley, the England international is eager to be part of a progressive West Ham United side. "You look at the likes of Everton and Aston Villa and I do believe that we can finish ahead of them if we can keep everyone fit," he said at a recent fans forum. "The key to their success has been they have had the same starting eleven. Let's see if we can get everyone fit and if we can go for a run."

Dyer is particularly looking forward to being involved again with the squad on a daily basis. He is already well used to working alongside former Newcastle United colleagues Scott Parker and Craig Bellamy and predicts having them and him back together "will be like three new signings". He has also been impressed by the leadership shown by Lucas Neill, who he describes as "by far the best captain I have ever had". He added: "As a player, if you have got a problem, he will sort it out. He is a great man. He thought the players were low [after the 4-1 defeat at Manchester United] and suggested a get together to build team spirit up ... that's the kind of man he is."