Faubert pushing forward

Julien Faubert feels he is at the top of his game after inspiring West Ham United to 3-0 Barclays Premier League victory over Hull City on Saturday.

Playing his 50th league game for the club, the Frenchman laid on the Hammers' second goal for Carlton Cole with an inch-perfect pass before adding the third with his first ever goal in a claret and blue shirt.

Faubert's 20-yard strike, which gave Hull goalkeeper Boaz Myhill no chance, got his name on the scoresheet for the first time since he netted a header for FC Girondins de Bordeaux in a 2-1 Ligue 1 defeat by Olympique Lyonnais on 23 August 2006.

"It's my first goal for West Ham and my first goal for a long time! We played a great match. This was a big match for us and we won, and I think we have to go forward now."

The 26-year-old said his goal was an illustration of his return to form and fitness after a difficult first two years in east London.

After suffering a ruptured achilles tendon just days after his move to the Boleyn Ground, Faubert struggled on his return, leading to him spending the second half of last season enduring a frustrating loan spell at Spanish giants Real Madrid.

"I tried to score with my left foot before, but it wasn't very good, so I tried with my right and I scored, so I'm very happy for myself and my family. I had a bad moment in Madrid, but now I'm playing regularly so I'm very happy.

"I had a bad moment when I came here with my Achilles rupture and I came back and I wasn't really fit when I came back. I worked hard over the summer and came back fit and was careful about my weight and everything. I just want to keep going now and to play regularly.

"When I went to Madrid, it was a nice experience but nobody gave me a chance. I came back to West Ham but it's not a step down. It's just that I want to play football. When I was in Madrid, I forgot I was a football player, so when I came back I just wanted to be on the pitch and that's happened.

"Mentally and physically, I think I am at my best. I am a bit older now, so I think I can go forward."

Faubert suffered the passing of his mother Elisabeth at the end of January, and the Le Havre-born player vowed to play in her memory for the remainder of his career.

To help him along, the Frenchman has received plenty of support from West Ham fans, many of whom sent him messages of condolence.

"It's better because I had great support when I lost my Mum. When you are competitive and when you are fit, you get the crowd behind you. I am very happy about this. I play for them, because they pay for their tickets and they pay to support their team, so I'm happy.

"When I lost my Mum recently, I had a lost of emails from the fans. I also had nice support from my wife, my son and my family. My wife helped me a lot in a hard moment, so now I have to go forward for them. It's been hard, but I'm trying to play well in her memory."

While Faubert's relationship with the supporters is much-improved off the pitch, the same can be said of his relationship with his team-mates on it.

Cole has benefitted from Faubert's vision with goals in each of the Hammers' last two games, while the full-back has also struck up a good understanding with right midfielder Valon Behrami.

"Me and Coley have some understanding. I saw his run and I tried to give it to him. This one was a little bit lucky because it was close to the defender, but I'm very happy because he scored. Like I told the programme, I feel just as happy to create a goal as I do when I score.

"I can feel the game better and, with Valon Behrami, we know each other very well. When I go forward, he covers me. I am at my best level now."

Having recorded back-to-back victories over Birmingham City and Hull, Faubert said he and his team-mates would head to Manchester United on Tuesday full of confidence.

"Before, I thought we had to win Saturday's game and we did. Hull fight against us directly, so I think it's a good result. We're going to go to Old Trafford and it's going to be a different game, but we can get a draw or maybe win. You don't know what happens in football, so we will try our best."