Gary O'Neil vows to keep West Ham in the Premier League

25 January 2011 11:56
Gary O'Neil has vowed to fight to keep West Ham in the Barclays Premier League after completing his £2million switch from Middlesbrough.

The midfielder has signed a two-and-a-half year deal at Upton Park as they battle to retain their top-flight status.

The former Hammers academy player, who has worked with coaches Avram Grant, Paul Groves and David Coles at Portsmouth, said: 'I am really pleased to sign.

Heading south: O'Neill is swapping the North East for London's East End

'It all happened very quickly. I played for Middlesbrough at theweekend and didn't know anything was going to happen. It has allgathered pace since then. There was also a big rush to do it quicklywhen they realised I wasn't cup-tied.

'I enjoyed my time at Middlesbrough, the fans and staff were reallygood but it has been difficult time on the pitch. It is nice to be backin the Premier League and play at the top level, which everyone wantsto do. I am London born so it is good to come home.

Gotcha: West Ham manager Avram Grant has clung onto his job despite the side sitting bottom

'It is great that the club have such a massive game to look forwardto. I haven't trained yet with the team so it is up to the manager ofcourse if he wants to use me. I will take it one step at a time but itis a big game and it could be a case of straight in at the deep end ifinvolved.

'I've watched the team a lot this season. I know Avram, Grovesy andColesy from Portsmouth. It is a great side with top players but theyjust suffered from a tough start. I know we have enough quality to getout of it. I have been in a couple of relegation battles, including atPortsmouth, so hopefully that experience will help.

'It is always a bit nerve-wracking going to a new club but i shouldsettle in quickly. I did my schoolboy stuff here for a couple of yearswhen I was 13-14 and trained on a Tuesday and Thursday under Tony'sstaff. It was quite good and it helped me a lot in my career before Iwent to Portsmouth.'

O'Neil, who follows Wayne Bridge through the door at Upton Park,will bolster a West Ham midfield alongside Scott Parker, Mark Noble andJonathan Spector, while Germany international Thomas Hitzlsperger isclose to finally making his debut after an injury-plaugued start to hisspell at east London.

 West Ham bolster relegation scrap after O'Neil agrees to quit MiddlesbroughClub-by-club guide to every Premier League transfer deal during JanuaryMiddlesbrough 1 Preston 1: Home groans as Jones nabs late levellerAll the latest West Ham news, features and opinion

 Explore more:People: Gary O'Neil, Thomas Hitzlsperger, Wayne Bridge Places: London, Germany

Source: Daily_Mail