Tomkins takes heart

James Tomkins admitted he and his West Ham United team-mates were in philosophical mood after being held to a goalless draw by West Bromwich Albion.

The England Under-19 central defender was at his composed, assured best as West Ham kept a third consecutive clean sheet in Monday evening's Barclays Premier League fixture at the Boleyn Ground.

The 19-year-old will have impressed the watching England head coach Fabio Capello with the mature manner in which he dealt with the combined threat of the powerful Marc-Antoine Fortune as well as the speedy Luke Moore and Jay Simpson.

While Gianfranco Zola's men will have been frustrated not to secure all three points against the Premier League's bottom club, Tomkins was eager to point to the fact the Hammers maintained their fine defensive form against Tony Mowbray's side.

"Obviously it was a game we were expected to win with West Brom being the opposition and them being down the bottom and trying to keep their place in the Premier League. We were disappointed not to win. We had a few chances to nick it, but we had to be happy with the clean sheet.

Tomkins, who has started each of the Hammers' last four first-team fixtures in all competitions, excelled in the match after defensive partner Matthew Upson was withdrawn with a calf strain.

The 29-year-old Upson's injury is not thought to be too serious, although he will be assessed further on Tuesday to determine whether he will be in contention for Saturday's trip to Ewood Park. Upson's early departure against West Brom forced a reshuffle, with Lucas Neill slotting in alongside Tomkins and substitute Jonathan Spector filling the right-back berth.

"We had to readjust a bit after Matty's injury. He had a bit of a calf during the week and it was touch-and-go whether he would make the game but he gave it a go. That's the sort of player he is and the way he has played for us."

With former Bolton Wanderers manager Sam Allardyce now in charge at Blackburn, Tomkins is expecting a physical battle against a Rovers outfit who go into the weekend just a point above the relegation zone.

"Blackburn are down there but every game is going to be a hard one and we're taking nothing for granted. It will be a tough game, especially up there, and we're going to have to be at it if we're going to get a positive result."