West Ham in my heart

  • by Staff Writer
  • Tuesday, 29th April 2008

Paolo Di Canio has backed Alan Curbishley to bring the good times back to Upton Park.

The former United striker was back at the Boleyn for the first time in five years to watch the Hammers take on Newcastle.

Talking to WHUTV after the game, he revealed that Curbishley - who he played under at Charlton for a year following West Ham's relegation in 2003 - had his full support.

"Alan is a good man, a great manager," he said. "He is a hard working man, and also I think he gives a tactical system in the way you want it and the players follow him in the right way.

"I think he is one of the best managers in England."

The Italian - who is 40 this summer - retired from professional football in March after spending his final year in Rome with Cisco Roma, the city of his birth.

But despite having returned to Italy with his family Di Canio - who received a rapturous welcome from the Boleyn crowd - insists that he keeps an eye on West Ham's fortunes, adding that he 'still keeps West Ham in my heart'.

"I always followed every season of West Ham," he added. "This season they have done well because they have a lot of injuries.

"Of course I hope that this club can grow and give more satisfaction to the fans but today is a special day for me because I couldn't imagine this response."

Di Canio - who spent four season in East London between 1999 and 2003 - also has special praise for youngsters Fred Sears, Jack Collison and James Tomkins who have broken through into the first team this season.

"They must grow up with the passion," he said. "They must remember that everything they do they have to do with professionalism but especially they must give even more for these fans because they are absolutely fantastic."

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