Ryan Fredericks is beginning to feel at home in the Premier League.
After spending the previous five seasons in the Championship with Millwall, Middlesbrough and, most notably, Fulham, Fredericks made the step up to the top flight when he joined West Ham United last summer.
The lightning-quick right-back debuted in the Hammers’ opening game at Liverpool and also started the early-season defeats by Arsenal and Wolverhampton Wanderers, before losing his place to Pablo Zabaleta.
After scoring a fine goal in the Carabao Cup win over Macclesfield Town, Fredericks returned to Premier League action at Huddersfield Town in November, only to suffer a shin injury that ruled him out for the next ten weeks.
The No24 has since made a successful comeback in the home draw with Liverpool on 4 February, shackling Sadio Mane, and has since impressed in the home victories over Fulham and Newcastle United, draw at Crystal Palace and narrow defeat at Manchester City.
The defender himself admits it took some time to come to terms with the demands of joining a new team, playing under a new manager in Manuel Pellegrini and get used to the intensity and pace of the Premier League.
Since I’ve come back from injury and into the team, I’ve felt more confident on the pitch and more confident around the lads
“Spirits are high at the moment, we’re playing good stuff, we’ve got most of our team back and we’ve still got a lot of quality to come back as well, so we’re a confident bunch,” said the 26-year-old. “Everyone’s fighting for places and I think that’s why performances have been so good lately.
“It took a while for me to get used to the Premier League. At the start, I was probably more thinking about going on the pitch and not making any mistakes and that was causing me not to play my normal game.
“Since I’ve come back from injury and into the team, I’ve felt more confident on the pitch and more confident around the lads and I know what the gaffer wants from me. I’ve been going out on the pitch with no fear and the results are coming, which is nice.
“It’s quite a big switch from the way I played with my former team last season and the way the manager here wants us to play, but it’s firmly instilled in me know and things are happening instinctively and that’s why my performances have been better lately.”