James Tomkins enjoyed a fantastic weekend.
The 22-year-old signed a new long-term contract with West Ham United until 2016 before celebrating his 100th game for the Hammers in a 2-1 victory over Nottingham Forest that took the Hammers top of the npower Championship table.
The popular No5 spoke to West Ham TV about Saturday’s win, the team’s ability to adapt to new formations, signing his new deal, his West Ham career highlights and hopes of representing Team GB at the 2012 Olympic Games.
Was the result against Nottingham Forest more important than the performance?
“At the end of the day, it’s all about the three points in this league. Sometimes it can be a lot harder than we want it to be and Saturday was another example of that. We’ve come home with the three points and we’re top of the league, which is all we wanted.”
Is it difficult to adapt to different formations?
“Not really. I think we’re adapting quite well to any changes. We’ve got good enough and experienced enough players to deal with it. Even on Saturday, we changed it at half-time and all adapted to it. We’re winning games and that’s the main thing.”
Were you concerned with the number of chances you conceded to Nottingham Forest on Saturday?
“They created more chances than we would have liked but I suppose it is all about convertingthem and they didn’t. We got sloppy a few times and it’s important that we don’t under-estimate this league and get punished.”
Did the first penalty come at an important time just before half-time?
“It came at a great time for us. We weren’t playing too well and they would have been happy with 0-0 at half-time. Thankfully the decision went our way because sometimes they don’t and we made the most of it.”
You must be really pleased with your own individual form?
“Yes, I feel confident and I feel like I’m growing in every game and gaining good experience playing in this league, physically and mentally. I’m enjoying my football at the minute. As long as we keep winning games, I think I’ll keep developing and getting better as a player, which is what I want.”
You have signed a new contract. Was there ever any doubt about you staying with West Ham United?
“There was no doubt. I have been committed to this club for many years. I’ve been here since I was eight have always shown commitment. The main thing is I want to gain promotion and that’s the main task I’ve set myself this year. There was no way I was going to go elsewhere. It’s nice to put the speculation to bed now and I can concentrate on the rest of the season.”
Saturday was your 100th West Ham United appearance. Which games have been the highlights?
“It’s hard to put my finger on them but I’ll always remember my first game at Everton in March 2008 and my first goal against Sunderland in April 2009. They were highlights, as was going top of the league for the first time in my 100 games. I’ve made 100 but hopefully there are many more to come.”
Does going top of the table for the first time on Saturday add or reduce the pressure?
“That’s a good question. Everyone wants to beat us in the league because we know we’re favourites to go up, but I thrive on that pressure and I think all the other lads do. We’re just delighted to be up there and will just take each game as it comes.”
Why have we struggled to score goals from open play recently?
“It’s hard to put your finger on it, really. It’s not a major problem at the minute because Nobes is putting away his penalties. I’m sure it’ll come but we’re scoring the penalties that are winning us games.”
Would you like to represent Team GB at London 2012 now you have been named in the provisional squad?
“I think it would be brilliant. If we get promoted this year, which we’re all confident we can do, and this came at the end of the season then that would be a bonus. The important thing is to keep doing well for my club because then the call-up might come. If I keep playing well for West Ham United, then who knows?”