Joy for Julien

Julien Faubert has plenty of reasons to be happy at present.

The No18 recently chalked up his 100th appearance for West Ham United before capping a fine run of performances with a man of the match display in Saturday's 3-1 npower Championship victory over Derby County.

The 28-year-old put his improvement down to a combination of factors - most notably the influence of manager Sam Allardyce.

"Saturday was the perfect day," Faubert told West Ham TV. "It was a team performance as well, because we didn't do well in the first half but the second half was better. Personally it was a great performance for me as well. I didn't score, but I tried to give my best for my team-mates, the manager and the fans so I'm happy to have a bottle of Champagne.

"I think I give everything to win the ball every time when I can. I try to get the ball in behind all the time to Freddie Piquionne or Coley or whoever is running. That time I saw Jack Collison and it was quite good because we took advantage of the game and we were more comfortable once we had a two-goal lead.

"We don't have any secrets, but we have confidence and the manager changed the tactics as well. I think Sam can read the game properly when he needs to and he changed the team and it helped us. We changed the formation at half-time and everything changed - we played more football and further forward.

"In the last two games, we were 1-0 down and we came back. This is good for the team and good for our character and good for the future.

"We know the manager is experienced and he knows this league more than us. When he says something, we all believe him and we all want to work for him and for the team. We are pulling the same way and we are all together.

"Everything has changed now we are all together on the pitch. That's why it's good for us."

Faubert is hopeful West Ham can extend their npower Championship-best away record at Middlesbrough on Tuesday, but the France international knows the Hammers will not have everything their own way against Tony Mowbray's fourth-placed side.

"We will try to win. Every game in this league is hard. Middlesbrough are another team who like to play so we'll go there and we haven't lost for quite a long time.

"We need to keep the same shape and mentality and do the same things to win the game. It can be good. We need to be strong and concentrate and we can win there.

"I think it's a big week for us if we can win all three games. We saw Southampton lost a game on Saturday so we're only two points behind them. Six points this week can be good, but nine can be lovely!"