Manu targets win double

Manu da Costa believes West Ham United's first Barclays Premier League point could spur the Hammers on to a double success this week.

The giant Portuguese defender made his first appearance of the 2010/11 season in the 1-1 draw at Stoke City on Saturday, producing a resilient display that was only spoiled by Kenwyne Jones' 52nd-minute equaliser.

Da Costa was effective at both ends of the pitch, winning a succession of important defensive headers as the Potters threw a typical aerial barrage into the West Ham penalty area. On the attacking front, the centre-back came close to snatching all three points for the Hammers, only for Thomas Sorensen to claw his downward header out from the base of his left-hand post.

All things considered, the Saint-Max born player was happy enough with a point from his trip to the Britannia Stadium.

"It was a good performance from all the team - from everybody," he told "We played well against a very strong team. When you play against Stoke City, every ball is a long one. You have to keep your eyes on the ball, because it is always in the air. They are a hard team to play against.

"On Saturday, we played well. We stayed strong, even after they equalised, and could even have won the game. In the circumstances, we will take the draw and the point."

Having helped the team to break their duck, Da Costa believes Avram Grant's side can cause a pair of upsets by first winning at Sunderland in the Carling Cup third round, then defeating UEFA Champions League hopefuls Tottenham Hotspur at the Boleyn Ground next weekend.

"It is important that we have got a point on the board. Now we have to think about achieving a victory in the next game - first at Sunderland in the cup, because this competition is very important for everybody, and then after that on Saturday against Tottenham at home.

"It's very important for the team and for the supporters that we win next weekend because it is a derby match. At the moment, though, I am not thinking about Tottenham. First, I think about the next match, about Sunderland and about getting through to the next round.

"I know Tottenham are a big team, a strong team and are a Champions League team, but beating them is possible."

Manuel da Costa

For Da Costa himself, a return to the side is a triumph in itself. After being voted SBOBET Player of the Month for May, the former PSV star found himself down the pecking order following the signings of Tal Ben Haim and Winston Reid.

Any disappointment the defender had been feeling was not in evidence at Stoke as Da Costa gave everything he had for the Hammers.

"It has been difficult for me over the last few weeks, but you have to take the rough with the smooth. You have to be ready so that when you are called upon and you come back, you play well for the team, for the club and for everybody."