Di Michele determined

David Di Michele was in buoyant mood at Chadwell Heath this week after a fruitful start to 2009.

The Italian international has been enjoying a positive run in the team and has more than contributed to a fine patch of form that has seen West Ham United rise to eighth place in the standings. Di Michele has started the last five games for the east London side, winning the first three before picking up a credible point at the Emirates Stadium.

With the striker looking forward to getting his second taste of the FA Cup against Middlesbrough on Saturday, things could not be going much better. "Life at West Ham is great and I'm really enjoying it," Di Michele said.

"Being in the team over the last few weeks has really helped my form. You can express yourself and get the match fitness that you need. When I wasn't in the team I understood and was just waiting for my chance. As soon as the chance came I did well to take it and it was important for me to do that."

The West Ham No32 joined on in the summer and was delighted to see his countryman Gianfranco Zola join him as manager soon afterwards. The striker said it was a big bonus having a mentor that knows exactly what it takes to make the adjustment from Serie A to the Premier League.

"I'm enjoying working with Gianfranco as he gives me lots of advice. He was a great player, but more importantly he was a great player that made his name in England. It means that I benefit from the important tips and suggestions, which really give me an advantage when he plays," he said.

Di Michele is midway through a season long loan from Torino and the Italian is so settled he would extend his stay in London immediately if given the chance. "I need to do the best I can and then at the end of the season we will see.

Although his thoughts are firmly set on helping the Hammers to reach the sixth round of the FA Cup in Saturday's match, Di Michele was still slightly frustrated at not getting anything from last weekend's game against league leaders Manchester United.

"There was a bit of disappointment that we did not get anything against Manchester United as we had two or three chances in the first half and they didn't have as many chances as one may expect from a team like that. A draw would have been a fairer reflection on the game but we have to keep going as we are."