Captain's Blog

It has been a good solid week at the training ground for us. We were obviously disappointed with last Saturday's defeat and performance at Wigan. We came in on Monday and watched a video of the game and went through everything, both good and bad, about the match.

But we have put that to bed now and are focusing on this weekend's match against Manchester City and we are all looking forward to what should be a really good and entertaining game.

Hopefully, it will see us back at our best again, matching ourselves against the Barclays Premier League champions with a 'nothing to lose' mentality as many may think we will get beaten, but we like to think otherwise!

We have that focus and determination for every match. It is just that it doesn't always go the way you want or for whatever reason the performance we have prepared for all week and want to put in is not there.There is a lot of character in the dressing room, we are a tight-knit bunch and I know we were all hurting after last week's defeat together as a team.

We want you, the fans, to know that and I think you can see this. We don't give up in a match even when it is not going our way. We are still going to dig in and try and get something from the game until the final whistle goes.

So we move on now from last weekend and have been working hard ahead of this Saturday's match and will be trying to send Manchester City home empty-handed.

This home match will see us wearing poppies on our shirts for Remembrance Sunday, which falls next weekend when we are away at Newcastle United. These shirts will be signed by all of us in our matchday squad and the money from the auction will be given straight to the Royal British Legion.

For me, I can't speak highly enough of the men and women who are fighting for our country. I have members of my own family in the Armed Forces - a cousin in Afghanistan and one in the Navy.To back this cause and to remember the sacrifice they make for us all, putting their lives on the line, it is just a little thing we can do. If that raises more money to help the families, then it is only fantastic to do.

Whilst working hard on the pitch, we did have a team and staff day this week at the London Golf Club, in the form of our [West Ham's] - version of the Ryder Cup.

And I am happy to report back that is was a victorious day for the lads! It was planned a while ago and as you can imagine, it gets seriously competitive but it is great team and staff bonding which all adds the terrific spirit amongst everyone here.

Last year a few of the lads including myself had to miss out on it and the staff won.So you can imagine, we have had it in our faces ever since then, that they won the trophy.

A photo of them with the trophy was put up around the training ground and they really gloated about it. So this year, from the playing side, we went stronger and there were more of us available to play and we bossed it!

We were two-down mind, as Jussi Jaaskelainen and Matt Taylor had to miss out. But there was myself, Andy Carroll, Jack Collison, George McCartney, Nobes, Tonka [James Tomkins], Ginge [James Collins] and Gaz [Gary O'Neil], so we were a pretty solid set of pros who took part and let's just say we got the job done this time!

We quite rightly won the trophy back but I am sad to report that it has gone missing mysteriously and we don't know where it is at the moment. But we will find it and soon as we have it back, we are going to go to town with a photo and everything!

A few of the staff were a bit quieter the following morning, funnily enough when we got back into training today and it was a case of "put that in your pipe and smoke it!" All good banter and as I said, all adds to the togetherness.

Back to football, we have been pretty much selling out all our home matches and I think you only have to look back to the Wembley play-off final when we could have sold much more, to know how massive our support is.

Those of you who travelled to Wigan were superb and, even when we were 2-0 down, you were still singing and we could hear that, so we were gutted we couldn't get something to reward that backing.

Since I have been at the club, I have noted just what fantastic supporters we have and I think, as long as you know we are trying our best to reward you, then you respect that. Hopefully you are pleased with the start we have made and that we are looking to keep producing the results you can cheer about.

Performances are one of the important things and we want you all to go home after a game knowing that we have given everything, even if the result is not what we want.

Hats off to you all and keep being our 12th man. Stick behind us and with all of us together, we can keep this great club where it belongs here in this league and keep going forward from there.

Come on you Irons!

Kevin Nolan