The Big Interview - James Tomkins

James Tomkins believes West Ham United still have a great chance of gaining promotion to the Premier League, even if they have to go through the Play-Offs.

The No5 scored in Tuesday's 1-1 npower Championship draw at Bristol City, but the result means the Hammers are now odds-on to finish outside the automatic promotion places in third.

With two games to play, West Ham sit five points behind second-place Southampton but eight clear of fourth-place Birmingham City.

The defender was naturally pleased to net his career-high fourth goal of the season at Ashton Gate. Likewise, he is determined to maintain a positive outlook as West Ham face up to the prospect of their campaign being extended by three matches if they are to go up.

When you scored the opening goal, it was just reward for dominating the first 25 minutes, wasn't it?

"We started the game well again. It's typical of our game that we seem to start games well away from home. It was important that we scored first because normally when we score first we go on to win the game.

"Obviously that wasn't the case today but we got the draw and we need to push on from here because our season isn't over."

You seem to win everything that arrives at the far post in the attacking penalty area, while a fourth goal is the best haul of your career, which must be pleasing?

"Yes, I feel confident in the air and I'm timing my jumps well. The service has been good for me so I've got to thank the lads for that. Hopefully I can just keep winning them."

The manager said we just failed to take our chances and that is why we didn't win. Was that your assessment of the game?

"Yes, I think we dominated and got the ball into their penalty area and were winning quite a lot in the air, but things just didn't go our way. Winston Reid had a half-chance in the first half that could have gone our way but it didn't."

Despite this setback and us seemingly being on course for the Play-Offs, we have to remain confident of gaining promotion, don't we?

"Of course. We are still confident. I think our away record has been really good this year and our home form, as we showed the other day, is definitely better as well. We go into games confident. We're disappointed but we're still positive."

We may not gain automatic promotion, but we have gained 80 points so far this season - more than we collected in the previous two seasons combined. There are plenty of reasons to be optimistic, aren't there?

"Of course we can go into the Play-Offs and win them. It's not the end of the world. We've done well to get there and get there strong as well. We have got there quite comfortably. We all know it's going to be tough but we would go into it as favourites and will strive to go on and win it.

"We will concentrate on the rest of the season first, though, because it's still mathematically possible that we could go up automatically. We just have to concentrate on that."