Sears desperate to be involved

Sears may have played only a bit-part role in the Londoners’

season, but he was one of the team’s best performers during

Saturday’s 3-0 defeat to Chelsea. The youngster gave England

left-back Ashley Cole a difficult time at Stamford Bridge in what

was his seventh Premier League start of the season. The forward

spent the first half of the season on loan at Scunthorpe, where he

failed to find the net in nine games, and has rarely lived up to

the hype that surrounded him since his debut goal against Blackburn

three years ago. The 21-year-old admits being a frustrated

spectator during the Hammers’ woeful season has left him desperate

to play some part in helping them avoid relegation. “It is never

easy playing against Chelsea or Cole but it was a good opportunity

for me to play as I have not played for a long time,” Sears said.

“I’ve not been playing and it has been frustrating. My last game

was against Burnley (in February) but I feel that I have been doing

well. I think I’ve impressed in training and have been working on

my game so hopefully that was my reward for the gaffer to give me

the nod. “We have four games to go and I want to play in all of

them. I would be lying if I said I didn’t. I feel that I have

something to give. The gaffer knows what I can do and how I can

help out the team and it would be nice to feel that I can.” West

Ham are currently in the midst of an injury crisis that is

threatening to hamper their bid to usurp the two-point gap that

separates them from safety. Matthew Upson and Scott Parker were

absent on Saturday while Mark Noble had to come off with a stomach

injury that could rule him out of part of the team’s run-in. Right

winger Gary O’Neil is also out with a serious ankle injury, but

Sears is confident he can fill the gap left by the former

Middlesbrough man. “I feel that I can stretch teams,” Sears said.

“The gaffer looks at me as having a bit of pace and I am a young

lad and he knows that I have high energy levels and that I will

work hard for the team. That is obviously a good thing for me.

“Gary has been doing very well on the right but he has got injured

so this is my chance to get in and stake my place.”