Faye's midweek mission

Whether it be improving a previously horrific away record, stopping a troublesome run of conceding last-gasp goals or coming from behind to win, West Ham United have overcome plenty of obstacles this season.

The next hurdle in the Hammers' way as they continue the race to gain promotion is a Tuesday night date at fourth-place Middlesbrough - a night of the week on which Big Sam's side have won just one of their four npower Championship fixtures so far this season.

Abdoulaye Faye, who has been outstanding in West Ham's recent six-match unbeaten run, is confident that the Hammers can improve that record at the Riverside Stadium.

"It's very good because everybody is now playing very well and playing with confidence," he told West Ham TV immediately after Saturday's game. There were too many early games where it was not easy and we used to have little problems every time we played at home, but on Saturday we kept the ball and had confidence.

"I hope we'll play like that every home game from now on - we have to - and everybody will be happy."The next game against Middlesbrough will be very tough.

"The next game against Middlesbrough will be very tough. They are very close to us in the table and we have to be strong every time when we play away. I have confidence we'll win this game and we can look forward.

"It's not easy physically to play Saturday and then again on Tuesday. In the Premier League you play every Saturday and have time to get over it. I think the Championship is harder than the Premier League.

"There are lots of young players who are very, very fit and run everywhere. You don't see so many experienced players. I think it's hard, but we have to keep strong and win this game.

"When we are winning on a Saturday and a Tuesday night I think we'll be flying. We have to be strong and look forward because the Championship is not easy."

West Ham's fine away form this season - six wins and just one defeat in nine matches and just five goals conceded - has been based on a fine defensive record.

With Winston Reid sidelined with a dislocated shoulder, Faye and partner James Tomkins have proved to be an outstanding tandem, and the Senegal international has enjoyed playing alongside his much-younger colleague.

"He is a very good young English player. He is strong mentally and I think he is a very good defender. I like both Tonks and Reidy. They are both good young defenders.

"I think Tonks can go to the top. He is 22-years-old and has more time.

"I'm very happy with my form and being here. I'm fit now and I don't have the problem I had with my groin that I had before. I look fit and I'm happy."