Joyful Joey

Joey O'Brien has only been a West Ham United player for a month, but it has not taken him long to feel at home in east London.

The Republic of Ireland international has settled in quickly at right-back, helping the Hammers to win back-to-back away matches for the first time in four years.

Victories at Doncaster Rovers and Watford have helped to erase the disappointment of suffering a last-gasp defeat by Cardiff City on the opening weekend of the 2011/12 npower Championship season.

Aside from that Kenny Miller goal, O'Brien and his new team-mates have looked assured at the back and potent in attack, netting five times without reply in their two successes on the road - including the Dubliner's first goal in nearly seven years at Vicarage Road.

"We were unlucky, I suppose, because we could have had three clean sheets and seven points, but it's one of those things," said the 25-year-old.

"We have picked up back-to-back away wins, so we're now going back to Upton Park on Sunday against Leeds and it's a massive game.

"Hopefully we've got the momentum to pick up another three points."

Aside from his own fine form, O'Brien has plenty of other reasons to be cheerful - not only has he made a successful return from a long-term knee problem, but he is also quickly becoming a favourite among the Hammers faithful.

More than 3,000 travelled to both Doncaster and Watford, being rewarded for their loyalty with two superb performances.

"The fans were unbelievable on Tuesday and made the place like a home game really. The Leeds fans will probably try to do the same for their team on Sunday, so it should be a really cracking atmosphere.

"Hopefully we can put in a performance for them because they are fantastic fans. I remember, going back a few years ago, playing in an FA Cup tie for Bolton against West Ham at the Reebok and there were about 8,000 of them there and another 4,000 in with the Bolton fans. That says it all, really."

Looking back on Tuesday's goal-scoring performance, O'Brien was stunned to learn that his goal was the first he had netted since doing so for Sheffield Wednesday against Swindon Town in League One on 8 January 2005.

The goal was one of many highlights in a complete performance at the home of the Hornets, but the No17 is targeting even greater heights in the future.

"Was it seven years?! It was brilliant. I picked it up and it just opened up for me and when I got there I had a toe-poke and it came back to me. All I had to do was get it on target and luckily for me it went into the bottom corner.

"To be honest, Coley was right there beside me so that kind of helped me because I didn't have time to think about a celebration.

"We had the best of it for the first 15 or 20 minutes and got the goal. I think we had a few more chances in the first half and then dominated the second half and probably could have got more goals."