Bellamy back to lead Euro charge

PUBLISHED: 11:12 10 July 2008 | UPDATED: 13:26 05 October 2010

By JONATHAN CLEGG CRAIG Bellamy is expecting a real big season as he looks to fire West Ham into Europe next year. The Wales striker endured a nightmare first season at Upton Park as persistent injury problems restricted him to just eight Premier Leagu


CRAIG Bellamy is expecting a "real big season" as he looks to fire West Ham into Europe next year.

The Wales striker endured a nightmare first season at Upton Park as persistent injury problems restricted him to just eight Premier League appearances.

But Bellamy is now fit again and determined to improve on his debut campaign by leading the club's assault on the Premier League's top-six.

"I believe every season I want to keep getting better," Bellamy said.

"Obviously, considering what happened last season it shouldn't be too hard to do much better in this season coming up.

"I'm expecting a real big season from me and I'm expecting it from the club as well."

The Hammers suffered from a rash of injuries last season as key players such as Kieron Dyer, Dean Ashton and Freddie Ljungberg joined Bellamy on the sidelines for long periods.

With a fully-fit squad, the 28-year-old is convinced the club can challenge for a UEFA Cup spot.

He said: "The ambition really is to get into Europe. We finished 10th with a lot of players out last season.

"If you look at the points difference, we weren't too many points away from Europe.

"With the players coming back and with the squad we've already got, we can definitely improve on that.

"With a couple of extra points, we shouldn't be too far away from Europe."

Bellamy, who joined the Hammers in a £7.5million switch from Liverpool last summer, has changed clubs in each of the previous three summers.

But he revealed that he is happy to remain at Upton Park and desperate to return to action and start repaying his club record fee.

"I've got four more years here and I'm really committed," he said. "I signed for five years and intend to see those five years out - so I've got four more years to play some of the best football of my career.

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