Danny Gabbidon is delighted to be back in action for West Ham United and is hoping to help the club's push for Barclays Premier League survival.
The centre-back was a late substitute in last weekend's 2-2 draw against Everton and is hopeful he is over the hamstring troubles he has suffered of late. Gabbidon had been out of action since the 4-1 defeat at Chelsea in February when he played at right-back, and that itself was his only other appearance so far in 2010.
Having had a brief taste of the action, Gabbidon was delighted to be able to be back around the squad this week preparing for Sunderland on Saturday - especially given the mood post-match after Ilan's equaliser at Goodison. "It felt like a win," he said. "It has been a long time since I have seen the boys smiling after a game.
"We played really well considering the pressure and the situation we were in. We can't rest on it and we have to carry that on this Saturday. Hopefully that has given us a bit of the extra confidence.
"Sunderland are doing well and are on a good run. We know they are not going to give us the points. We have to give them a good game, like we did against Everton. Every game is a cup final and but if we play how we did on Sunday we will get the right result."
Having been sat on the Goodison bench for most of Sunday's contest, Gabbidon had a good view of the travelling support. He was struck by the passion on show but certainly not surprised. "The fans have been great all season. They know we have been in this predicament for a while now but they haven't stopped.
"I know it is frustrating and the home form hasn't been great but they still keep coming to watch us. Hopefully we will give them something to shout about and they will turn out again on Saturday. If we put in a performance the fans will have nothing to grumble about. I know they will be right behind us."