Hammers defender targets starting place

Faye relishing the chance to play in ‘physical’ Championship campaign

West Ham defender Abdoulaye Faye was delighted to make his first start for the club in Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Millwall – and the Senegal international is refusing to give his place up without a fight.

Faye was something of a surprise inclusion in the Hammers’ starting XI on Saturday, especially after the promising form of Winston Reid and James Tomkins at the heart of the West Ham defence in recent weeks.

“I really enjoyed the game and it was nice to play because I had the groin injury in the pre-season,” he said.

“After pre-season, the team was playing very well and I had to wait for my chance.

“Now that I have got it I need to play well and help the club go up this season, and I am confident that we will.”

The 33-year-old put in a solid display for the Hammers on Saturday with strong tackles and crucial interceptions thwarting the Millwall attack.

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And the defender revealed how he relished the chance to play in such a physical encounter at The Den.

I like the physical side of the game,” he said.

“I like this and I have experience from when I played for Newcastle and it was similar there.

“I enjoyed the game and we played very well in the second half and I look forward to the next game.”

It was Faye’s first experience of playing in a Millwall versus West Ham clash, and the commanding centre back thought that the Hammers should have ended up winners.

“I think everybody played well because it’s a tough game when you play here,” he said.

“It’s the first time that I’ve come here and people told me that it’s a difficult place to come to with the crowd and the atmosphere.

“But really we should have won the game because we had so many chances, but that’s football you know.

“We created a lot so we should be winning, but in football you have to look forward to the next game.”

Next up for West Ham are two home games against Peterborough this weekend and Ipswich Town the following Tuesday.

And Faye is targeting a starting place for himself and six points for the team.

“When you play at home you need to win every game,” he said.

“I will be looking to start next week.

“If you wait six months to win at home then that’s a long time and you have to keep going and win two or three in a row.

“That gives everyone confidence and you can build from that.

“We’ve had a little difficulty at home but you have to concentrate for 95 minutes because you cannot win every match 2-0 or 3-0.

“Sometimes you have to win 1-0 and keep everything tight, but I have confidence that we will win.”