Reid happy to be in Big Sam’s plans

West Ham defender Winston ReidWest Ham United defender Winston Reid admits he is enjoying being an integral part of Sam Allardyce’s first eleven at the Boleyn Ground, according to the club’s official website.

The Hammers signed Reid for an undisclosed fee from Danish outfit FC Midtjylland in 2010. However, Reid’s first season at the club didn’t go exactly to plan as his chances were limited and he was part of the side that were relegated to the Championship under former manager Avram Grant.

Despite this, under new boss Sam Allardyce, Reid played an integral part of West Ham’s success in bouncing straight back into the Premier League at the first time of asking.

Part of West Ham’s success last season was their ability to keep their Championship rivals out, with only Reading, Southampton and Hull City being able to boast a more impressive defensive record.

West Ham’s recent success at the back has continued into this Premier League campaign, as the Hammers have conceded in only one of their four games so far this season.

Reid believes that one of the key elements to the Hammers’ impressive defensive start to the season is the quality and experience of newly acquired goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen. Reid was full of the praise for the Finn, who joined the Hammers from Bolton Wanderers in the summer.

“Jussi has been good for us. He communicates very well and has obviously played in the Premier League for a number of seasons so it’s good for us to have someone like him behind us,” he said.

Thanks to his own performances, Reid now believes his name should be on the team sheet every week: “I think you have to feel like you’re an important member of the team, otherwise you wouldn’t have any confidence as a player.

“It’s not about being cocky or anything, but you have to believe in yourself like the rest of the players do and think you should play week-in, week-out. When you get the chance, it’s just up to you to take it.”

The 24-year-old pulled off a man-of-the-match performance in the goalless draw at Norwich on Saturday. This feat was all the more impressive due to the air miles the New Zealand international had clocked up in the week leading up to the game.

Reid has boarded six flights within the last week-and-a-half, having to fly to Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia and back again. The Kiwi admitted that playing for a country so far away from the English Premier League can come as a bit of a hindrance at times.

“I got back on Thursday night after three stopovers, so it was about a 26 or 27-hour journey. I actually slept on the plane a lot so it wasn’t too bad, but I’m pretty knackered right now,” he added.