Ogbonna: When I can help the team I’m happy

Angelo Ogbonna is delighted to be playing his part as the Hammers continue their push into the top half of the Premier League table.

Saturday’s 2-0 win against Newcastle United was Ogbonna’s eleventh straight start in the top flight, and his partnership with Issa Diop has gone from strength-to-strength in recent weeks.

Ogbonna’s vital block from Salomon Rondon late on helped secure a fifth clean sheet of the season on Saturday – and now the Italy centre back wants another against Cardiff next week.

Watch highlights of the 2-0 win against Newcastle here

He explained: “At the beginning of the season I didn’t play many games, so maybe I was a little bit stiff, it’s normal. You need time and I think it’s good for me [to have a run of games] and if I can help the team I’m happy.

“The way we work in the week helps us [on matchday]. We have to concentrate and be focused and we need to maintain the balance on the pitch when we attack and when we defend.”

Ogbonna was also pleased for Manuel Lanzini after he successfully came through his first start of the campaign after recovering from a serious knee injury.

He added: “Players like Manu, like Nasri, like Snodgrass, we need that kind of player when you’re struggling maybe and you need to keep the ball. You need that quality to keep the rhythm of the team and I’m really happy for Manu because he had a bad injury and has come back.

“He is a humble person and everyone expected that reaction from him because he is a good talent."