Green knows what it takes

West Ham United head to Sunderland on Saturday looking to keep the pressure on the teams just above and Robert Green is well aware of what it will take to compete with the very best.

The club have every chance of a strong finish especially as the sides currently in sixth and seventh - Portsmouth and Aston Villa - both still have to come to the Boleyn Ground before the end of the season. A victory this weekend at the Stadium of Light could potentially move United to within three points of Portsmouth but the ultimate aim for all is to find a way of challenging the elite as well.

"You look at it and say they are very good at what they do," Green said. "They have a game plan and it's very hard to stop it. We have our own game plan and if everyone's on song then it's fantastic to watch and really good to play in but it does require a lot of players to be playing well. It's that consistency that we're looking for to make a difference."

The England goalkeeper played a key role last week at Everton although much of the second half saw Alan Curbishley's side pushing hard for victory. The blossoming partnership of Dean Ashton and Freddie Sears, along with the recent re-introduction of Bobby Zamora to complement Carlton Cole, has raised hopes the club has the attacking options to match the undoubted defensive solidity shown this season by Green and the back four.

Green was impressed with the way Ashton coped last week against a resolute rearguard. "It's a difficult role playing up front on your own," he said. "There are so many miles to cover and it can be a thankless task really. He was our main threat throughout the game and then, when Freddie did come on, he was relishing the chance to lay the balls of for him and, with Freddie, cause havoc. They did that ... [they were] the width of the post away from giving us an impressive win."