Papa positive

Papa Bouba Diop is pushing to do all he can to help West Ham United make it three npower Championship wins from three in 2012.

The stylish Hammers enforcer was in commanding form last Saturday at Portsmouth, helping the Hammers to a second successive 1-0 win after they started January in similar fashion at home to Coventry City.

Not surprisingly given his vast experience, Diop was more concerned with the team securing a hat-trick of New Year triumphs with this weekend's visit of Nottingham Forest than dwelling on the past.

"It was a great win and we simply want to keep going like that," he told "Since the New Year we have two wins in two games, it is good way to start the year.

"We know how important this year is to the fans and the club. We have Nottingham Forest next and we must win this game as well. We are at home and we have to keep winning games."


The Senegalese midfielder was an irresistible force at Fratton Park, driving the team on from a holding role that even saw him drop into the defence for the frenetic closing stages. Even so, there was still time for two lung-bursting surges forward to ease the pressure as Pompey pushed for an equaliser to Mark Noble's penalty.

"I was very tired after those runs but I had to do it for the team," he added with a smile that belied the fact his 34th birthday is coming up on 28 January. "Everything we do is for the team and we cannot forget that."

Coming off the pitch to hear that leaders Southampton had won, the Hammers were boosted to find out their two nearest rivals below had both dropped points. Nevertheless, Diop knows that Cardiff City and Middlesbrough will come back strong again in future.

"It is tough because we are being pushed hard by the teams behind us and also Southampton won again. We cannot make a mistake because if we do the other teams will take advantage.

"The win against Portsmouth means we could keep the pressure off and we needed it to get the win. If we want to get to the Premier League we have to give everything. All that we do is to come back to the Premier League."

Nothing else matters, even if it was sweet for Diop to play such a leading role at his former employers last Saturday. "It was nice to come back to my old club and even nicer to come back and get a win.

"I remember my time here but I am a West Ham player and I want to help my team-mates to get on. That is all that matters to me."