Kovac right at home

Radoslav Kovac is settling into life at West Ham United and aiming to help his new team-mates to victory over Wigan Athetic on Wednesday evening.

After his debut in last week's FA Cup fifth-round defeat at Middlesbrough, the Czech Republic international midfielder produced a powerful performance in Sunday's 1-0 Premier League win over Manchester City at the Boleyn Ground.

Having trained with the club for more than a month the 29-year-old, who is on loan from Russian giants Spartak Moscow until the end of the season, feels he is approaching full match-fitness. Kovac is eager to taste victory for a second time when the Hammers take on the Latics at the JJB Stadium.

"I joined West Ham because I have seen them play a few matches recently and they have been playing good football. They try to play football the right way and I like that. I was also keen to join the other Czech boys at the club. The club is on the up and I'm happy to have joined them.

"I don't really want to talk about my strengths and weaknesses, but hopefully the supporters will be able to make their own minds up about me soon. It's not been easy because I had only done one week of pre-season training with Spartak before I joined West Ham. I still need to do a little bit more work before I'm fully match-fit but I feel better every single day."

Kovac's strong display against Mark Hughes' side drew praise from manager Gianfranco Zola, who was impressed with the player's willingness to work hard for the team against a strong City midfield containing the in-form Stephen Ireland and January transfer window signings Nigel De Jong and Vincent Kompany.

The manager said: "He did very well. He came on in a team that was playing very well and their [Manchester City's] midfield is probably the strongest part of their team. At Middlesbrough he didn't play so well, but he played a very good match against City.

"He had a slight problem with his leg but he stayed on the pitch and worked very hard and is a good asset for us. He had only done one week of pre-season training at Spartak before he joined us, but now he is finding his fitness and we are starting to see just what a good player he is."