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Hammer Tonkins looking to learn from Upson

PUBLISHED: 11:13 18 February 2010 | UPDATED: 15:37 05 October 2010

during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Birmingham City at Boleyn Ground on February 10, 2010 in London, England.

during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Birmingham City at Boleyn Ground on February 10, 2010 in London, England.

West Ham defender James Tomkins believes he can learn a lot from captain and centre-half partner Matt Upson as he tries to assist the club to shoot up the table

West Ham defender James Tomkins believes he can learn a lot from captain and centre-half partner Matt Upson as he tries to assist the club to 'shoot up the table'.

After some indifferent displays earlier in the campaign, the 20-year-old has forced his way back into the first 11 and is now a regular starter for the East End club.

And he believes his run of games, coupled with the performances of his defensive partner have been a major factor in his own improvement.

"I think the more I play with Matty the more I learn off him and the more we play well together," he said.

"We cover each other well and he's a good lad to have, someone I always looked up to as a player.

"His communication with me is brilliant. I love playing with Matty and hopefully I can continue doing so."

The pair will almost certainly play in Saturday's match against the Tigers at Upton Park in what it is a real six-pointer.

"We need the three points against Hull. It's going to be a massive game," he said ,before admitting that the 10 days off between fixtures is welcomed by some in the squad.

"A few of the players have played a lot of games so it's a good time to rest up and get our heads right for the next game, which we will do.

"In the position we are in, it's always nice to shoot up the table if we can."

The Hammers head into the match full of confidence after beating Birmingham 2-0 last Wednesday.

Goals from Alessandro Diamanti and Carlton Cole were enough for the Hammers to capture the points and the England under-21 international was full of praise for his East London team-mates.

"We've got good characters in the dressing room and all we're concentrating on is our job in hand," he said.

"The three points was massive. It was important that we started well and we did that.

"We got the points and everyone in the dressing room is just delighted.

"I got a knock in the middle of the second half, but it was just a kick, nothing too serious.

"I should be fine for the next game."

After improving his performances at one of the pitch, Tomkins is keen to make his mark at the other and admitted it had been too long.

"I'm long overdue a goal at the moment and it would be nice to chip in with one now and again as a defender," he said.

"I'm working on attacking the ball.


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