Curbishley needs experience
Hammers boss welcomes returning stars
By Chris Burton. Last Updated: March 13, 2008 5:40pm
Curbishley: Refusing to rush youngsters
Alan Curbishley believes that the return of some of his more experienced players will help to stabilise the club.
The Hammers have suffered three straight 4-0 defeats in the Premier League and cannot afford any more slip ups as their slim European hopes continue to fade.
As a result of their recent slump, Curbishley is relishing the opportunity to reinstate the likes of England international Matthew Upson back into his side as the club's injury nightmare begins to show signs of easing.
The defender could be fit in time to face Blackburn at Upton Park on Saturday, while the likes of Scott Parker, Kieron Dyer, Lee Bowyer and Craig Bellamy could all feature before the end of the season.
"Matty might be back. He has trained over the last week," said the Hammers boss.
"You do need experience, that is why I have been saying to the younger lads that the time may not be quite right for them to play when you have had a set of results that we have had.
"In all fairness, we have been criticised for being defensive minded - but recently that went out of the window. So we have a few things to get right."
Curbishley though has refused to completely rule out the possibility of promising youngsters such as James Tomkins, Fredddie Sears and Jack Collison featuring for the first-team as the current campaign draws to a close, as long as they continue to progress at their current rate.
"I will not be fazed about putting some of the young boys in but the time must be right," the West Ham boss maintained.
"Sears and Tomkins have been training with us for the past six weeks. They are slowly being introduced to it all.
"I have not got a problem putting them in. They have impressed me a lot.
"We know that young players get stifled quite a bit trying to break into the first team in the Premier League, so we will see what happens over the next nine games."
While lauding the impact he expects his senior men to have on his side over the coming weeks, Curbishley did reveal that he will be expecting much better from Anton Ferdinand after the defender's inept display in the weekend defeat at Tottenham.
"He lost (Dimitar) Berbatov twice," Curbishley said.
"Losing him once in the six-yard box was enough, but twice?
"It is something that we have worked on this week and will work on ahead of Saturday because we cannot afford to lose (Roque) Santa Cruz or (Benni) McCarthy."