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Mullins want more of the same

PUBLISHED: 11:15 06 November 2008 | UPDATED: 13:45 05 October 2010

By JONATHAN CLEGG HAYDEN MULLINS is determined to help Hammers boss Gianfranco Zola reverse fortunes at Upton Park and cement his place in the Italian s starting line-up. Mullins has emerged as a key figure at West Ham since his elevation to the first tea

By JONATHAN CLEGG

HAYDEN MULLINS is determined to help Hammers boss Gianfranco Zola reverse fortunes at Upton Park and cement his place in the Italian's starting line-up.

Mullins has emerged as a key figure at West Ham since his elevation to the first team for last month's home defeat by Arsenal and started his third match in succession at Middlesbrough last weekend.

The midfielder has responded to Zola's show of faith by producing a series of steady

performances for the Hammers, including a battling display at the Riverside as the club ended a sequence of four consecutive Premier League defeats with a 1-1 draw on Teesside.

Now Mullins is determined to repay the West Ham manager by helping the Hammers return to winning ways against Everton on Saturday.

The 29-year-old believes the club "are just lacking a bit of luck at the moment" after a dominant first-half display at Boro failed to produce a victory last weekend.

But he insists that the Upton Park dressing room remains fully behind the Italian, despite tough losses to Arsenal and Manchester United in the past fortnight.

He said: "We had two tough games against Arsenal and Man United and we knew that it was going to be very difficult, but the manager has come in every day with a smile on his face and brings all his experience on to the training pitch.

"That's brilliant for all the boys and we just want to repay him. Knowing that the manager is doing his best, all the players are working so hard for him.

"He's a brilliant manager and brings a lot to the side. We're just disappointed for everything that we've been through.

"The last four results have not been good enough - we've been on a bad run but you have to stay positive."

Mullins almost inspired a positive result at the Riverside after netting his first goal for two years against Middlesbrough.

But despite expressing relief at finally

ending his personal goal drought, the former Crystal Palace star admitted that he would gladly have swapped the strike for a Hammers victory.

"I was very happy to get off the mark," Mullins said.

"It's been a long time since I scored a goal so I was very happy with that, but the three points would have been more important.

"We knew it was going to be hard because Boro are a good side, but we created a lot of chances and were disappointed to come away with only a point.

"But you've just got to keep ticking over [and] when I'm asked to go and play, I'm going to do my best.

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