Keen for victory

Kevin Keen believes West Ham United have every chance to begin the New Year on a high when they take on his old club Wolverhampton Wanderers this weekend.

The Hammers first-team coach spent 15 months with Wolves between July 1993 and October 1994, having moved to Molineux following nine years at West Ham.

Having won at Fulham on Boxing Day and drawn with Everton at home on Tuesday evening, West Ham are seeking to continue a productive Christmas and New Year period ahead of Wednesday's trip to Newcastle United.

Keen is looking forward to locking horns with Wolves on New Year's Day, but told WHUTV is eager to get one over his old friends from the West Midlands.

"It's been really good for us. I think we've done a good job, especially on Tuesday on the back of playing at Fulham whereas Everton happened to have their game called off.

"I think it was a fantastic performance and we didn't get the credit we deserved on the television. We had seven players who started the game at Fulham starting against Everton and I thought they were magnificent.

"I think 'must win' is a bit of an over-used phrase and one the media loves throwing in every now and then.

"Of course we need to win, but at the same time our run has been really, really good and we need to pick results between now and the end of the season. It might not be today, but I hope it is and I think we've got a really good chance but I think 'must win' is an over-used phrase in my opinion."

Keen also assessed Saturday's opponents, suggesting that, as has been the case at West Ham, injuries have played a large part in Wolves' position in the Barclays Premier League table.

However, the 43-year-old is mindful that Mick McCarthy's men were also struggling when they visited east London in March 2010.

"I think they've had a couple of injuries and they've been missing the boy Kevin Doyle - he's a big miss for them.

"I think Mick will wish they had a few more points on the board, similar to us, but they're organised, strong and they came here last year and were fantastic against us in a big game.

"We're fully aware of what they did to us but we're on a good run and feeling good at the moment and I'm confident that we can do well today."

Keen also discussed the packed festive and New Year fixture list, which will see West Ham play four league matches in the space of eleven days between Boxing Day and 5 January.

While the Hammers also played regularly during the holiday season during Keen's playing career, the coach admitted the intensity of modern-day football made the Christmas and New Year period a testing - but potentially season-defining - period.

"I think, compared to when I played, it's a lot more difficult now because the Premier League is much more athletic and physical than it was when I was playing.

"The amount of energy and strength used in Premier League games is much more advanced.

"I used to enjoy it and would have been quite happy to play every day when I played, but this is a big ask. We're talking about physically athletic and fit players and, that said, I think we did really, really well on Tuesday."