Captain's Blog: On a roll

I hope everyone had a good Christmas and wonderful New Year. I want to wish all of you all the very best for 2009.

It was a fantastic festive period for the club. As was shown in years gone by, a good Christmas can set you up well for the rest of the season and after playing well and it going unrewarded, it was maximum points from two games for us.

Firstly at Portsmouth where Coley and Bellars were among the goals as was young Jack, who is a fantastic talent. The only negative was for me getting the injury at half-time and us conceding an early goal, but we got back and ended up winning emphatically.

We backed that up with a great win two days later at home against Stoke - we had struggled with our home form so to get a home win under our belts was great and I like the fans, watched the game, kicking every ball and wondering what was going to happen with the goalmouth scrambles going on.

Although we conceded an early goal again, the great spirit and determination of the team, which by the way, is no accident, spurred us on. Diego also got a goal in this game, his first for the club and we went on to win.

We then followed that up with an FA Cup win over Barnsley, who last year had a very good run and we knew would be hard to beat. While you always want to play well, getting a winning result means having your name in the hat for the next round.

We have been rewarded with a tough away game against Hartlepool but one in which, if we are successful, we can be challenging for a spot nearer Wembley.

As a result, three wins in a row has brought about extra confidence. The dressing room is as always very positive and everybody is re-iterating what we are doing on the training ground and it is showing on the pitch.

That is credit to the staff and players and is no doubt, pleasing for the supporters.
So we now go again - this weekend to Newcastle, who have had distractions on and off the pitch, but that can work in their favour and make them stronger.

But we have great form behind us - five away games unbeaten - and we want to carry that on, making sure we are hard to beat and turning up at away grounds to give the home sides a tough time.

Thanks in advance to all our fans who will be making the enormous journey up to the north east and let's hope we can reward you all with points and a good performance.

It seems West Ham are in the newspapers for most things these days. I just want to re-iterate what the manager and Scott Duxbury, our CEO, has already said, by saying that no one in the squad wants to leave, no one needs to leave and unless there is an offer that the manager believes can't be turned down, then there is no reason for anyone to leave.

With our recent run of results, there is every reason to be excited about what is happening here. At this time, you need to have a mental toughness and this is the time when the experienced senior players and leaders in the team will stand up and help the younger players and we take that with us again when we walk on to the pitch at 3pm on Saturday.

Anything in the newspapers or on television is hearsay and, unless it is backed up by an official quote from our CEO, manager or player, take it with a pinch of salt.

Once again, I want to wish everyone a happy New Year and that 2009 is a great year for everyone, the manager, board, players, staff and supporters of West Ham for the right reasons on and off the pitch.

Lucas Neill signature

Lucas Neill