Curbishley on Derby

  • by Staff Writer
  • Friday, 18th April 2008

Alan Curbishley is looking forward to welcoming a number of first team players back to the squad for this weekend's visit of Derby County.

The Hammers boss confirmd that he could have up to four players back from injury for a game against a team already relegated from the Premier League.

"Lucas [Neill] is alright and Freddie [Ljungberg] is in the frame as he's trained all week," said Curbishley. "Noble and Faubert have trained so we're hopeful that one or two will be back this weekend.

"I'm not convinced they're [all] 100 per cent as they've been out for some time - Faubert especially. But we'll see."

United have managed just one win from their last eight games yet enjoyed their biggest victory of the season in the reverse fixture earlier in the season when they ran out 5-0 winners at Pride Park.

Whilst most supporters will be expecting three points tomorrow against a side on course to finish with one of the lowest top-flight points tally ever, Curbishley warned fans not to take the three points for granted.

"They've been competing in games from reports I've had," he said. "At Everton they were in the game then they got beat 1-0 at Middlesbrough. But on some occasions when the opposition have scored they've folded.

"So I should imagine they'll come to Upton Park tomorrow having looked at our recent record and gone 'we've got a chance'. I don't expect anything else and think it's going to be a tough old game for us."

Despite the warning Curbishley readily admitted that his team should be looking to win the game - if for nothing else than to put recent dire performances, such as those at Sunderland and Bolton, firmly behind them.

"We all want to do as well as we can - we all want to finish as high as we can," he mused. "But I was very unhappy with what happened last week at Bolton.

"All season I've been saying that the players have held their end up - they didn't last week. So we need to bounce back and it may be that one or two fresh legs and enthusiasm comes back into it.

"I'm looking forward to it. It's another game in which we've got a chance to do better and nothing would please me more than to get a decent result."

Curbishley also revealed that his trio of young stars - Fred Sears, James Tomkins and Jack Collison - were in the squad.

"We've got four games, three of them at home so I will be looking at one or two," he said. "The points are vital - but so is the development of players."

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