Quashie feeling upbeat

After enduring an 18-month injury nightmare, Nigel Quashie is finally enjoying his football again.

The West Ham United and Scotland midfielder had been left frustrated after suffering a foot injury in the 4-3 Barclays Premier League defeat by Tottenham Hotspur in March 2007.

Complications meant the 31-year-old would not play again competitively until October 2008, when he embarked on a loan spell at Championship high-fliers Birmingham City.

A loan to Wolverhampton Wanderers followed, before Quashie returned to Chadwell Heath for pre-season training in the summer. Since then, he has been working hard on his match fitness, as well as passing on his experience to the club's aspiring youngsters.

Many of the Hammers' reserve and Academy players have remarked on the assistance Quashie - who has made nearly 400 senior appearances during his 14-year career - has given them both on and off the pitch.

"I have done everything that has been asked of me," Quashie told WHUTV. "The manager Gianfranco Zola has been first-class and just asked me to help the younger ones and get on with that and also keep my fitness.

"You never know in this game, things can turn around. Obviously being out injured and with new players coming in, it's been difficult for me. I'm in the last year of my contract and I've still got a good few years to play and I want to stay fit and stay healthy and enjoy my life.


"I've got to continue doing what's right for me and what's right for the younger players, and that's giving them a little bit of guidance, understanding and knowledge of the game. That will help them to develop.

"What you know from the first team here is that, if you're good enough, you're old enough, and there's a lot of them who can play in the first team. It's up to them to do the right things and some of them can get there."

Quashie has made two appearances for Alex Dyer's reserve team this season. On Tuesday, he was again the senior player as a young Hammers side held out for a goalless draw against an experienced Wolverhampton Wanderers team.

"We had a lot of young players and it was a learning curve for them. Wolves brought a lot of experience down and it was a tough game for the boys. When you're playing against experienced players, it's always going to be difficult, but go kept going and kept digging in and the important thing is that they learn from it."