West Ham midfielder Scott Parker wants to see more maturity from his team-mates

West Ham midfielder Scott Parker has called for more maturity from his team-mates as they prepare to take on the might of Manchester United at Upton Park this Saturday

West Ham midfielder Scott Parker has called for more maturity from his team-mates as they prepare to take on the might of Manchester United at Upton Park this Saturday.

The Hammers continue to hover above the drop-zone and with a fixture against the champions next on the agenda, the former Charlton man wants to see those around him be more assertive.

"There are players in there that have to step up - Cole is a big player now. We all have to step up and take responsibility," he said.

"It's clear that we're going to have to really dig in this season.


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"We've lost some key players in the squad (Lucas Neill and James Collins). They're influential and senior players that know what the Premier League's about.

"You get to the point in your career where you're known as an up-and-coming kid, then all of a sudden you've played a certain number of games and you become wiser and more experienced, you realise what to do and what not to do. That's the case here with me and Matt (Upson). It just happens."

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Manager Gianfranco Zola certainly agrees and with the absence of Matt Upson due to a hamstring injury, Parker was named skipper in last Saturday's 5-3 win over Burnley at the Boleyn.

The East End club raced to a 5-0 lead thanks to goals from Jack Collison, Guillermo Franco, Carlton Cole, Junior Stanislas and Luis Jiminez, only to see their Lancashire opponents grab three second-half goals, to take some gloss off the performance.

"It was a strange game and it's a strange feeling that we won the game and got three points, but obviously a little bit gutted that we've conceded three goals," he said.

"I think at this moment, and the way things are going for us, we just need to be thinking about the positive things. At the moment we are a little bit nervy, you can see that in the way we play at times.

"You saw that last week (at Hull), we went 2-0 up and within 10 minutes we're 3-2 down.

"There is something there at the moment but I think we need to concentrate on the positive things and the positive thing is that we've scored five and won the game.

"There is a little underlying problem there that we need to sort and we will do that in the right way.

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