Faye adds muscle and experience to West Ham cause
Abdoulaye Faye is hoping for an extended run in the West Ham team after starting his first game in claret and blue at Millwall
When you go to places like The Den, you have to expect a daunting physical scrap and a frantic London derby showdown.
You need players that are up to that sort of pressure and so it was no surprise when West Ham boss Sam Allardyce opted to bring in centre half Abdoulaye Faye for his first start in claret and blue on Saturday.
He is no shrinking violet that’s for sure. He is not the tallest player in the league, but the 33-year-old Senegal international defender is built like a brick wall and is never likely to shirk a challenge.
“I enjoyed the game because I like the physical side of the game,” said Faye after coming through the full 90 minutes and helping the Hammers to a clean sheet.
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“I like this and I have the experience from when I was at Newcastle, it was similar there.
“I enjoyed the game and I think we played very well in the second half.”
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It was Faye’s first competitive start since playing for Stoke City at Liverpool way back in February and understandably he took a little time to get into the swing of things.
It was his error that allowed Liam Trotter a free run on goal which forced a fine save from Robert Green, but as the game wore on Faye got stronger and stronger playing alongside first James Tomkins and then Winston Reid.
“I really enjoyed the experience today because I had the groin injury in pre-season,” he explained. “Afterwards the team was playing very well and I had to wait for my chance.
“Now that I have got it, I need to play well and help the club go up this season and I am confident that we will.”
The dropping of Reid for Faye was harsh in some people’s eyes as the New Zealander and Tomkins have formed a reliable partnership at the heart of the West Ham defence, but sometimes you need someone with Faye’s experience when you come to places like The Den.
“I think everybody played well because it’s a tough game when you play here,” said Faye. “It’s the first time that I’ve come here and people told me that it’s a difficult place to come to with the crowd and the atmosphere.”
Faye and his team-mates had to cope with some Millwall pressure, especially in the first half, but he still felt that the Hammers should have taken the points.
“We really should have won this game because we had so many chances, but that’s football. We created a lot of chances so we should be winning this game, but in football you have to look forward to the next game.”
That next game is Saturday’s home game with Peterborough and with Tomkins set to miss it through injury, Faye is likely to start once again.
“I will be looking to start next week and our home form is very important,” insisted Faye. “We’ve had a little difficulty there, but you have to concentrate for the whole game because you cannot win every match two or 3-0.
“Sometimes you have to win 1-0 and keep everything tight, but I have confidence we will win. You need to concentrate for 95 minutes, but we should be okay for next week.”