Stanislas sets his sights

Junior Stanislas is away with England Under-21s and is predicting the time away for all the club's internationals will help them to focus before Stoke City on Saturday week.

Stanislas has linked up with club-mates James Tomkins and Zavon Hines for the Young Lions' match against FYR Macedonia on Friday night, with the fixture the third in the 2011 UEFA European U21 Championship qualifying campaign. Freddie Sears would have made it four Hammers involved but for an ankle injury.

The 19-year-old said the call-up would be a positive influence on preparations for the Premier League resumption. "There is a bit of a break now. It is nice to play for your country. We haven't been on the best run so the little time away will break things up and then we will come back together looking to beat Stoke."

He said having familiar faces around - including Hines for his maiden international experience with England - was also good for morale though. "It is better for us when we are together. We can talk and interact a bit more. Freddie's injured this time otherwise he would have been there as well. It is good.

"Zavon deserves the call-up. He has played really well since he has come in, He has been unlucky not to score a few but has done really well and it is nice he will be with us."

Talking of goals, Stanislas came off the bench to convert a crucial equaliser in the 2-2 draw against Fulham last Sunday, just when it seemed the ten-man visitors would hold out for an away win. "It was difficult at times," said Stanislas of an encounter that has left all at the club determined for better next time around.

"It is nice to come off the bench and score as well. It is good for me and obviously good for the team. I thought we played well in the first half but to come away with a draw when they had ten points is disappointing for us."

He was introduced into the fray with Valon Behrami on 72 minutes and Stanislas revealed the duo had been given licence to go for it. "The manager just said to try and make an impact when we come on the pitch," he said. "I thought me and Valon did that and the boys already on helped us."

Stanislas has three goals in seven appearances this season, having always been a steady scorer during his time in the Under-18s and reserves. "I like to score goals and to create goals as well, it is part of a winger's job. Under the circumstances against Fulham, it was nice to score."