Parker pleased to be back

Scott Parker is determined to show the West Ham United supporters what he is capable of after returning to fitness.

After ten weeks out of action, Parker returned to the starting lineup for last Sunday's derby match at Tottenham Hotspur. Despite the manner of the defeat, he put in a strong showing for the 75 minutes that he was on the pitch. It was the culmination of more than two months' hard work back at Chadwell Heath. "It felt OK, my knee felt fine," he told "I'm going to be a bit short, that's part and parcel of it, but I feel that I'm going in the right direction."

Having made 32 league and cup starts in his first season for Newcastle United in 2005/06 and followed that up with 41 appearances in the last campaign, the 27-year-old midfielder arrived at the Boleyn Ground last summer with high hopes of quickly establishing himself in the West Ham United ranks. However, he has been frustrated by two unrelated knee injuries, the second of which came after Cristiano Ronaldo fell on him during the defeat of Manchester United on 29 December.


Parker added that he was "very disappointed by the result" but has already turned his attention to the visit of Blackburn Rovers this Saturday. "Personally I was pleased I came through the game without any scares and I look forward to the next one. It's going to be a tough game, there's no doubting that. We've come out of a tough run and confidence may be a little bit low on our side, Blackburn have been doing really well, but we're at home and I fully expect us to go and win the game."

The three-times capped international, who began his career with Charlton Athletic and played 145 times for the south London club before joining Chelsea for an 18-month spell, is relishing the chance to focus on the matches ahead after more than two months out of the picture. "When you come to a new club you want to come in and do well and I've not been able to do that," Parker said. "My main aim's just been to get into the team and try and get a steady run of games."

Parker had been doing that before the New Year, with a run of eight straight matches including a memorable winner away to Middlesbrough on the last Saturday before Christmas. With nine games to play, he could yet make more significant contributions to the cause. "I've been out for such a long time and it is difficult that when you're coming back you try and get fit in the reserves. I'm running out of time now and the season's coming to an end. It's not a problem, I need to play and get in there and try and do my best for everyone and myself really."

While on the sidelines, Parker has been impressed by the strength in depth with the squad and the performance overall - even with the difficulties of the last week. "For us, it's been such a good season in terms of injuries and how we've coped. We've done really well defensively, and we defend as a team. It's been a bit of shock to us all that we've been on the end of a few 4-0s, albeit two of them being in the top four - but still, we'd expect to do better than that. It's been disappointing.

"[Sunday] wasn't the best of results and we've not had the best of times of late. Three bad results, albeit at times on Sunday I thought we played quite well. But results are key and that's what people go on. 4-0 says it all really. We've had a little blip. The last week or so has been very disappointing for us all but we've got a big game at the weekend against Blackburn where we need to get three points."