Green saves the best

Of the ten trophies presented at the 2011/12 Awards Dinner, the Save of the Season produced the most predictable winner.

As the only contender, Robert Green was always destined to collect the prize, but it was just a question of which of his five best stops would be picked by West Ham United supporters.

As it happened, the No1 and the fans had a different view over which was the most impressive - while they chose the last-gasp save to deny Cardiff City's Kenny Miller, Green himself was happier with the acrobatics he produced to keep out a header from Barnsley defender Rob Edwards in December.

"The winning save against Cardiff was one that I'm definitely proud and happy with," said the 32-year-old. "It didn't affect the outcome of the match but it's important for me to keep my focus and do my job from minute one to minute 95.

"It was not literally the most vital save but every save that maintains a clean sheet is a good one.

"My own Save of the Season would have been the one against Barnsley, largely for the importance of it because we were 1-0 up but under the cosh. It changed the course of the game, so I'd have chosen that one."

Green joked that he was happy to have beaten off the challenge of Arsenal loanee Manuel Almunia, who appeared four times last autumn, and stand-in Henri Lansbury to win the award.

Lansbury famously pulled on the gloves when Green was sent-off at Blackpool in February, keeping a clean sheet for 35 minutes as the Hammers triumphed 4-1.

"It was slightly debateable whether I would win over Henri and Manuel, who did well when he came on loan. Seriously, though, it is always good to get awards because it shows you are doing your job.

"Hopefully I will be making more saves and we'll go up in the Play-Offs.

"Henri is lively and is always hanging around the goalkeepers. We get a bit of stick, us goalkeepers, but everybody wants to be one really!"

For Green, being part of a winning team has been a new experience after two busy seasons spent trying to keep West Ham in matches.

He said both are skills that goalkeepers have to master if they are going to be successful.

"It's been different this season because we've been dominating games and I've had to keep my focus as opposed to being kept busy and having to keep them out throughout the game.

"It's been a good season for us."

Green is now looking to climax another consistent season by appearing at Wembley in the npower Championship Play-Off final.

Having played at the Home of Football for England and knowing the value of the 19 May showcase, the stopper is desperate to help the Hammers sign-off 2011/12 on a high.

"To play at Wembley in front of a full-house of 90,000 people in one of the biggest one-off games in the world would be nice.

"If that's not enough of a carrot dangled in front of us, I don't know what it.

"We can't look past the semi-finals though because it will be tough. We've definitely got the motivation there to do the job in hand, though."