Julien Faubert has been through his fair share of ups and downs since arriving at West Ham United, but he now he firmly believes that both he and the club are in the ascent once more.
Faubert’s has experienced a top-ten finish in the Premier League, a long-term injury lay off, a loan move to Real Madrid and relegation to the npower Championship during his five years at the club since arriving from FC Girondins de Bordeaux. Now the France international is happy to be playing and having some consistency both on the pitch and off it under the tutorship of Sam Allardyce.
“I’m happy and my confidence is coming back as I’m playing a lot of games,” Faubert said. “I like the manager, the assistants and the atmosphere inside the club now. It is different now and is better than last season.
“There is more respect, more work and that is why things are going well. We are all pulling in the same way and I feel very good this season.”
With West Ham having no game this weekend, the break from playing gives Faubert and his team-mates the chance to put in extra preparation ahead of the tricky-looking trip to Ipswich Town on Tuesday night. The Hammers will be hoping to further cement their position at the top of the table with a win, although Faubert knows that being on top of the pile may bring its own challenges.
“We are top of the table and we are winning games. We don’t score too many goals but I think we are solid at the back. Southampton have made a mistake and now we are first on our own. It is in our hands now if we keep going like this; winning games away and being strong at home.
“We’re pleased we’re up there. Even from the start of the season everyone wanted to beat us because we came from the Premier League and have Premier League players.
“Every game the other team seem to play the game of their lives against us but really it is just about us. We can have pressure but we are professional and we have to deal with it. It is good for us and good for the club but it is not the end of the season so we can’t celebrate anything and we need to keep working hard.”
The right-sided midfielder, who is also equally as comfortable at right-back, has played in 24 of West Ham’s 27 Championship games this season and is flourishing under Big Sam. After not featuring as much last season, Faubert is a big fan of the new mangers’ straight-talking approach.
“It’s different because I played one full season with Zola that was good but this is one of my best. I play right-midfield or right-back but I don’t mind as I can play both positions. I’m happy to play because the atmosphere is really good and the way we play is proper football so it is one of my best seasons.
“I am happy here now so it is different to last season and my mentality is different because I think I had a good talk with the manger. He is a straight-talking guy and so am I and we talked man-to-man so it is good.”
Faubert’s determination and effort have won him many admirers among the Boleyn crowd this season – any strong tackle or darting run is often greeted by a chorus of ‘Julien’ – and Faubert was quick to praise the support of the Hammers faithful.
“It is good for me to have the fans’ backing because I play for myself but also for the fans as well because they are part of the club. We have to give our best for them as they have paid for their ticket. We are in the Championship now but they have stayed with us and are behind us and push us on.
“Sometimes I hear them singing my name but you can’t do anything about it on the pitch. It helps me to go forward, push and win the battle. It is good for my confidence.”