Tomkins bides his time

James Tomkins will be part of a confident but not complacent West Ham United squad that heads to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.

The Hammers are unbeaten in four games but know that Wolves will provide a stern test at Molineux on Saturday afternoon. Tomkins is vying for a starting eleven return but knows it is a tough task with Matthew Upson and Manuel da Costa performing well at the heart of the defence, and the likes of Tal Ben Haim and Winston Reid also returning after the boost of playing for their national teams.

Tomkins turned in an impressive performance in Monday's friendly at Dagenham and Redbridge to remind the watching manager of his potential. Still only 21, he knows time is on his side and is more than content to see the team doing well.

"It is massively important to take your chance when you get it," said Tomkins. "If you don't perform well you can be dropped and that's what we've got here at the moment. It was good to get 90 minutes.

"People need to try extra hard so they can stay in the team and impress. When you get a chance you've got to take it. That is important for myself, obviously I am going to keep working hard in training."

On the mood in the camp, the defender said there was a real belief that the team can continue the good form and move quickly up the table. After all, there is only four points between last and tenth place.

"It is important to keep the confidence up," Tomkins added. "If we can keep this run going into Saturday then things will look better for us.

"We know that we've got a couple of points on board now, so we need to keep that going and need to keep up our performances. The atmosphere is good."

Tomkins said the second-half showing of a young Hammers side on Monday at Dagenham also bodes well for the future. He and Frederic Piquionne were the only recognised first-teamers on view in the closing stages and the England Under-21 international relished the chance to be a senior figure.

"It is nice for the youngsters to come in and play in front of the gaffer and in front of the chairman. It doesn't feel that long ago since I was in the Academy and trying to do the same. The young lads have done well and done themselves justice.

"I've got responsible on my shoulders. I feel I have to give back to the youngsters and it was really nice to see the players round here doing well."