Gabbs targets strong finish

Danny Gabbidon is plotting a successful, injury-free end to the 2009/10 Barclays Premier League season.

West Ham United's Wales centre-back has endured a difficult past two-and-a-half years, missing more than 18 months of action between December 2007 and August 2009 with a complex abdominal problem.

The 30-year-old returned last summer, scoring in the Barclays Asia Trophy victory over Beijing Guoan in China and making ten first-team appearances before injuring his hamstring in the 1-1 home draw with Chelsea on 20 December.


After another spell in rehabilitation at Chadwell Heath, Gabbidon pulled on the claret and blue shirt in Saturday's 4-1 defeat by the Blues at Stamford Bridge. While the result might not have been what the defender wanted, he was pleased to be back on the pitch and contributing after another frustrating spell on the sidelines.

"My hamstring went just before I was coming back training and then I had a little problem with my calf so that put me back a week or so.

"I don't know whether it is all arising from my original injury, it's possible, but I don't know. It has been a little bit frustrating because my back has felt fine, but obviously it is the other little niggles that have been holding me back. But hopefully now with ten games to go, I'm over all that and hopefully I will be available for the rest of the season.

"The hamstring is fine, touch wood. I was pleased to get through the game. It was a tough game for myself. But if I can take one thing from the game it is that I have come through it and I'm feeling OK."

While Saturday's defeat was a blow to West Ham's hopes of climbing the table, Gabbidon believes the club's remaining home fixtures with Wolverhampton Wanderers, Stoke City, Sunderland, Wigan Athletic and Manchester City will decide their fate.

"We have to try and win the home games. Obviously our away record is not that great this season, so that's why the home games are so important. If we can win a couple of them and improve our away games a little bit, then I think we will be fine."

While home points are vital, Gabbidon insisted the squad would travel to Arsenal on Saturday eager to pick up a positive result at the Emirates Stadium.

"It was disappointing to lose at home to Bolton so we will be looking to pick up points somewhere else to get those points back.

"We've got Arsenal next, which doesn't get any easier. They are a very good team as well [as Chelsea were]. We have to show those [fighting] qualities if we are going to stay in the league and I'm sure we are going to do just that.

"I think we will be OK, but we have to keep battling, give 110 per cent. We have got a few games coming up where we should pick up some points. We are not playing too badly at the moment, so we have to keep doing what we are doing and I think we will be fine."