Captain's Blog - Fulham in focus

It was a fantastic win and performance for the club last Saturday and was extremely pleasing for the new manager and coach to get off to a winning start.

The team had only played a formation which was familiar to them for five days before the match, but I thought the performance was full of energy and good football with lots of chances for us.

I thought everyone played really well and I was really pleased in particular for Carlton Cole and David Di Michele - who showed his quality and would have been disappointed not to have got his hat-trick.

I thought our fans were excellent and created a great atmosphere. If we can do our work on the pitch and our supporters can match that off the pitch, then we will make Upton Park a difficult place for teams to come to this season, as we have already proved with four wins out of four on our home turf.

On Tuesday, we came crashing back to earth losing in the Carling Cup, it was not a game we took lightly and there was a lot of disappointment from us at the final whistle because it was a cup competition we genuinely believed we could challenge for.

The positives to take out of the game were that we still tried to play a good brand of football and it was only an unfortunate error that ultimately led to a negative result.

We will hopefully get to put that right this week in what will be a tough game away to Fulham. We will need all your help from the terraces again as we look to secure our first away win, continue our climb up the table and look to get some bragging rights on a couple of old friends, Bobby Zamora and Johnny Pantsil.

The attitude from Wednesday morning following the cup defeat has been one of real focus as we realise the importance of the Fulham game and there is a real desire to take the maximum points out of this match, which will then set us up nicely for our next two games, at home to Bolton Wanderers and away to Hull City.

A new manager brings new ideas and 'mister' (the boss) as he likes to be called, has challenged us on the training ground with a lot of sessions that are new to everyone and a system unfamiliar to a majority of the team.

In response, the boys have been very committed and the intensity of training has reached another level, in a bid to not only impress but to perfect the new style and formation.

The changing room is very buoyant and you can sense the excitement the boys are feeling for the remainder of the season. We have never hidden the fact that European qualification is our aim and there is definitely a focus from the boys in trying to realise that goal.

Once again, thank you for all your support last week at both Upton Park and Vicarage Road and thank you in advance to all those lucky enough to get tickets at Craven Cottage to hopefully witness what we are all after, our first away win of the season.

Lucas Neill signature

Lucas Neill