The Big Interview – Carl Jenkinson

The England right-back reflects on a successful return to first-team action and looks ahead to Saturday’s trip to leaders Manchester City
Right-back Carl Jenkinson reflects on a successful return to first-team action and looks ahead to Saturday’s trip to Barclays Premier League leaders Manchester City. The England international returned to action as a first-half substitute against Newcastle United and played his part in a valuable 2-0 win over the Magpies. Now, he and his Hammers teammates have a visit to the Etihad Stadium to face the unbeaten Citizens to plan for.

Carl, let’s start with Monday’s 2-0 home win over Newcastle United – a deserved victory and a first Boleyn Ground success in the Barclays Premier League…

“It was a good result and we kept a clean sheet as well. I am a player who likes to get forward, but this game it was just about defending well and trying to stop them scoring and I think we did that. It was great to finally get a home win, we hadn’t done that before this game and it is always nice to win in front of the home fans, I am sure they enjoyed it.”

You came on as a first-half substitute for Angelo Ogbonna after missing the Liverpool win through suspension, but slipped back into things immediately…

“All I want to do is play football and you need to be ready. Obviously it was unexpected today, once I knew I wasn’t in the team. You never expect to come on as a defender, so it was nice to come on and do my bit.”

You must have been pleased to bounce back with three points and a clean sheet after a couple of mistakes and a red card at home to AFC Bournemouth last time out?

“Everyone has a bad day at the office, you just get on with it. That’s life and it is about how you respond. The boss didn’t say a lot, he knows what sort of person I am and that I am not going to dwell on it and that is what I have done.”

Watching Monday night’s win and the victories at Arsenal and Liverpool, it looks like we are a real threat on the counter-attack, with pace and chances galore. It must be fun?

“It is exciting to play in a team like that. We have got a lot of power and ability going forward and it is about utilising that. Sometimes Newcastle played into our hands on Monday, especially when we went ahead because we didn’t have to play silly, we just lapped it up and then hit them when we could and could have had a third, but I think that style of play probably suits us when you look at the type of player we have brought in and the way we want to play.”
The season has started very similarly to a year ago, when West Ham collected seven points from five games ahead of a trip to Manchester United. This time around, it is nine points from 15 and a visit to Manchester City…

“It is a good start. It has been very up and down so far, but we are in a good place in the table, we just have to build on that now. It is all about consistency in this league and trying to get a run of results together, that has to be the aim.”

Manchester City have not conceded a goal in winning all five of their league games so far, but presumably we go there with belief we can alter that record?

“Of course they are flying at the moment, but we’ve got some good results against the big teams this season so we’ve got to be encouraged by that. We can afford to go there with no fear at the moment, with the way we are playing this season. People aren’t expected to go to City and win these days and it’s not that easy, but we’ll go there confident and play with no fear.”