'We have turned the season around'

Jussi Jaaskelainen may not be in the starting XI at present, but the experienced goalkeeper has still played his part in West Ham United's recent improved form.

The goalkeeper has recently seen Spaniard Adrian take his place in Sam Allardyce's team, but the 38-year-old says the Hammers' renaissance has been a real squad effort.

With players returning from injury and suspension, the intensity of training sessions has risen, resulting in a run of five victories in the last eight Barclays Premier League matches.

Now, Jaaskelainen has challenged his squad-mates to maintain their charge up the table and equal or better last season's tenth-place finish.

"We have turned the season around, but we need to keep going and try to finish as high as we possibly can," said the No22, who has kept eight clean sheets in 18 league appearances this term.

"For next season, we need to learn from what we have done wrong this season. Things have gone a little bit against us in certain parts of the season, but we've really bounced back so hopefully we can finish high and can build on two successful seasons in the coming years."

Jaaskelainen has won praise from goalkeeper coach Martyn Margetson and team-mate Guy Demel for his reaction to being left out in recent weeks. The goalkeeper has maintained an immaculate, professional approach to training and preparation that has undoubtedly benefitted fellow goalkeeper Adrian.

"It's part and parcel of the way I'm thinking - I have been fortunate enough to play for many years in the Premier League and at the start of this season, so when you lose your place there is no point in sulking.

"I am just trying to work as hard as I can and to support Adrian in every possible way. As I said, it's about how we finish the season as a team, not as individuals.

"It's a big team and hopefully, if I get one more chance, I will try to to grab it and keep the shirt as long as I can. That's why I keep working hard, because you never know what is happening in the future in football."

Looking further forward, Jaaskelainen is sure to be in the running for the Save of the Season at the 2013/14 Player Awards, which will take place on Tuesday 6 May at the Grosvenor House Hotel on London's Park Lane.

A year ago, the Finn unsurprisingly took that trophy home with him, while also being voted as runner-up for the Hammer of the Year award following an outstanding first season at the Boleyn Ground.

"It was a good evening, but for me at the end of the day it's about the success of the team and it's great that we've turned things around this season. We are doing well and hopefully we can carry on the way we've been playing in the last six or seven games.

"Hopefully, we can finish as high as we did last season and we can have a very good night at the Player Awards ceremony.

"It was nice because it was my first season here and obviously I wanted to carry on from that. Obviously things change quickly in football, but you have to just keep on working and hopefully get back in the team and get back playing."

Tables of ten for the Player Awards, which include a drinks reception and three-course luxury meal with petit fours, are available priced from £2,750 +VAT.

Individual packages at a shared table, complete with a drinks reception and three-course luxury meal with petit fours, are available priced at £300 +VAT.

To book your table or seat now, please call 0871 091 1811 (Calls cost 10p per min plus network extras).