West Ham United midfielder Alex Song believes he is getting back to his best form and has nothing but praise for the way Slaven Bilic has eased him back into first-team action.
Song suffered a frustrating start to the campaign when he was forced to miss the first few months with an ankle injury.
But the former Barcelona and Arsenal star has been working hard behind the scenes to regain full fitness and is now starting to show the form which saw him become a fans favourite at the Boleyn Ground last season.
Song was outstanding against Manchester City in the last Premier League game and also played his part in another impressive display against Liverpool in the Emirates FA Cup against Liverpool on Saturday.
The Cameroon midfielder is now hoping to maintain his high standards when the Hammers face Aston Villa at the Boleyn Ground on Tuesday night and says the club can achieve big things this season.
Song said: “I am very happy to be back in the team. For seven months it was not easy and the team was doing very well. It was hard for the manager to give me time on the pitch.
“For me to get back to my level I need to play every game but it was hard for the manager because the other midfielders have been playing so well.
“If I want to get back to my level I need to play. I have been given my opportunity in the last two games and I feel I am getting back my levels again. I am very happy with how the manager has managed me and how the team are doing.
“We want to achieve something this year. I want to contribute to the team and when the manager needs me I want to give something back.
“We can do more this season. At the moment we are doing very well and we just need to take it step by step. We are stronger than what we were last season.”
Song is excited by the arrival of new signing Emmanuel Emenike and feels he will add even more quality to the Hammers attack this season.
The 28-year-old played against the Nigeria international in the Champions League when he was at Barcelona and can still remember the tough challenge he faced at the Nou Camp.
Song added: “I played against him three-years ago when I was playing centre-back for Barcelona. He was so strong and I was asking 'who is this guy'. He was so strong.
“It is great for us to have a player like this and I am very happy that he has signed for the club and can help us achieve what we want this season.
“He is very strong and very quick and it is good to have players like him who can make a difference.”