The Big Interview - George McCartney

George McCartney has returned from a long-term knee injury to enjoy yet another consistent season for West Ham United.

The left-back has helped the Hammers to keep 13 clean sheets in 28 Barclays Premier League matches played so far, as well as a recent run of four victories in February.

The 32-year-old has enjoyed his return to action and is looking forward to making a further impression between now and the end of the 2013/14 campaign.

George, you must be pleased with the way things are going at the moment?

GM: "Yeah, I was out for ten or eleven months, then I got back in the side at left-back for a couple of games. Then, I went to centre-half and it was all going well, then we played Manchester City in the League Cup semi-finals and it wasn't so good!

"I think I had two or three games out of the team then, but since I got back in seven or eight games ago, we have won a few matches and moved up the league table.

"I'm happy to be part of the team again and hopefully I'm over my injury problems and can have a good end to the season and be here a bit longer."

You must be even happier considering your career was under threat due to the knee problems you suffered last season?

GM: "I think, as you get older, it can become tougher to come back from long-term injuries, but as long as you stay positive and have confidence in your ability and work hard, you can obviously get back to somewhere near what you think you are capable of.

"I've been more than pleased to have got over my injuries and back to somewhere near my best.. I do think I can improve on one or two things, but the more matches I play the better my match-fitness will be.

"Everyone knows themselves when they're out there and what they need to improve on and I'm no different."

As a team, what are our targets for the remainder of the season?

GM: "Of course, we want to finish as strongly as possible. I don't think our run-in is that easy, but then there are no easy games in this league.

"We know we've been on a terrific run that came to an end at Everton, where it was a bit disappointing to lose a goal late on and not get a draw out of the game.

"We're looking to Stoke now and we know, with the confidence in the squad and the team spirit we have, we're always capable of picking up a decent result.

"We've got ten games left and we're in tenth place. It's tight and there are a few teams around us, but if we can continue the good form we're showing then I'm sure we'll probably finish in tenth or eleventh place.

"I think the teams above us are a bit too far in front now, but hopefully we can continue our good form and stay where we are in the table."

Finally, Stoke will be without Charlie Adam on Saturday. He has been their main man, so does that have a bearing on the game?

GM: "I think he probably is their most important player. He plays in central midfield and takes their set pieces and he's scored and created some goals over the last few weeks.

"Obviously his absence is a bonus for us and a big miss for them, but no matter what, you know Stoke is a tough place to go and you expect a tough game.

"They have beaten Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United at home and you know when they're beating so many big teams at home that it's no fluke.

"They are a good team at their place, but we're playing with confidence and, no matter if we're home or away, I think we will give anyone a game on the day and hopefully we can get a result and stay in tenth in the table."