Captain's Blog - A great week

This has been a great week for the club. It was fantastic to have Junior Stanislas mark his full debut for the first team with a goal against Sunderland. It was fully deserved. He was a great threat and to top off Tony Carr and the West Ham Academy's day, James Tomkins scored his first goal.

It was well deserved and the icing on the cake after some really mature performances of late and credit to Tony Carr and everyone at the academy who continue to breed fantastic talent. They are good honest kids coming through who have dreams of playing for the club. Certainly the more Junior's and Tomka's that come through, the better.

We have also got Josh Payne knocking on the door and Mark Noble is a credit to the Academy as are all the big names playing elsewhere before them. It is a tag that the club has - the Academy of Football. It is not unjustified. When a squad is depleted, to be able to turn to guys that look good in training but are still very young is great credit to everyone associated with the club.

I wish them all continued success. As long as they keep their heads down and keep working hard and make the right sacrifices, they have every chance of realising their dreams.

It would be stating the obvious to say that Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday is a big game for the club. We can be very proud of the club's achievements thus far and in particular the strength we have shown. We have had some difficult times in that we have struggled for numbers in training games let alone putting a team out for the league.

We showed last week that we have a strong squad capable of getting results. I played defensive midfield and loved it but more importantly I enjoyed getting off a plane from Australia and seeing the team keeping a clean sheet and winning the game.

We know exactly what we need to do in the last seven games of the season and what is great that, even though we are weak in squad size, we are really strong in spirit. It is a compliment to everybody associated with the club that we find strength in times of need. We are going to need that strength this weekend against what most people would class one of the biggest games of the season. We are taking on a local rival and the players understand how important the result is.

For three reasons this game is huge. Firstly because it is a derby with our rivals and if we win, not only will we send West Ham fans into ecstasy, it will also give them bragging rights until the game comes around again next season. Secondly we need to avenge the disappointment of the 2-0 loss just before Christmas. Thirdly if we can draw or win the game it will mean that Tottenham won't gain any points on us and a victory would pretty much finish their chances of catching us for seventh place which is the most important thing.

We are in a good position now where as long as we keep the teams chasing us away by drawing or beating them, it is going to be very hard for people to catch us. We still also have one eye on trying to close the gap on Everton ahead of us.

For all sorts of reasons this is a massive match and what an exciting game. Two teams in form, two teams not conceding many and scoring a few and it is going to be interesting. The atmosphere is going to be electric, we are really looking forward to it.

This week I also visited a Cancer Research UK laboratory with Bobby Moore Fund founder Stephanie Moore and it was a really educational afternoon. In particular, we went into the lab that was trying to find a cure for the cancer that claimed the life of the legendary Bobby Moore.

To be standing next to Bobby's widow Stephanie Moore and talking to the actual people who are trying to cure bowel cancer was a privilege but it was also amazing that you were in a laboratory that could be saving millions of lives by making a breakthrough in science and medicine. It was a fascinating day and it was great to be able to support Stephanie, accept the hospitality of Cancer Research UK and again promote the Bobby Moore Fund, which is important to us all.

Thanks for all your support last week and your support to come on Saturday. Let's hope we head home from White Hart Lane with a win.

Lucas Neill signature

Lucas Neill