Deportivo ticket latest

Hammers fans can pay on the door today for the glamour SBOBET Cup fixture against RC Deportivo La Coruna and they may well see James Tomkins lining up in an unfamiliar right-back role.

As well as the imperious Tomkins, those arriving will see home debuts for Thomas Hitzlsperger, Pablo Barrera and Frederic Piquionne and also get to see England quartet Robert Green, Matthew Upson, Scott Parker and Carlton Cole return to the Boleyn.

The England Under-21 defender has impressed in the position during Avram Grant's first two months at the club, although he has also had plenty of chances to shine in the middle as well. For Tomkins, he is just pleased to be getting the chance to play and show what he can do.

"I am obviously enjoying the minutes that I have been playing," he said. "The team is doing well, winning games and that obviously breeds confidence going into the new season. Hopefully we can continue that with the last friendly game against Deportivo."


No one in the first-team squad has played more than the 21-year-old this summer and he has relished the chance to prove he is a team player first. "I have enjoyed playing right-back. I have not minded it and it involves going forward more. I need to learn more [about the position] and I will get some feedback from the coaches.

"The manager has been playing me in both positions and it is better to be involved than not. I have played a lot of minutes that has been good for me. Hopefully it has shown the manager what I can do. I want to keep on improving."

Tomkins could compete with Kieron Dyer for a right-back berth along with last season's incumbent Julien Faubert, who has spent the summer in a more attacking role. He knows there is also competition to play in the centre from Matthew Upson, Manu da Costa and Danny Gabbidon - with new recruit Tal Ben Haim also in the mix.

"We have got a lot of ability defensively," Tomkins added in recognition of a rearguard run of just two goals conceded in six friendlies to date. "We have got a lot of players that can move into different positions. That is what the manager is doing with me and a few others. He wants to see what the best job we can do for the team is."