Ferdinand praises Reo-Coker
By Peter ORourke
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
West Ham ace Anton Ferdinand has jumped to the defence of Nigel Reo-Coker.
West Ham ace Anton Ferdinand has jumped to the defence of team-mate Nigel Reo-Coker.
Reo-Coker has come in for criticism this season from some West Ham fans for failing to hit the heights of last term.
The England Under 21 international was even accused of helping get Alan Pardew the sack at Upton Park last week.
Reo-Coker answered his critics in the perfect way on Sunday by scoring the winning goal against Manchester United and Ferdinand has been impressed by how the West Ham skipper has handled all the attention surrounding him
"Nigel has answered some of his critics and that shows his character," said Ferdinand. "He has been getting stick all week and there are not many people that can go out and do that. It shows what a big player he is and how much he has come along.
"I could see how much it was affecting him. He is my mate both on and off the pitch and I am there for him 100 per cent."
Ferdinand also believes that all the criticism aimed at Reo-Coker has been unjust.
"To be fair I think all the criticism is unfair because people forget how young he is," added Ferdinand. "He is only 22 and captain of a massive club. For people to put the sacking of the manager on his shoulders is very unfair.
"But he has let his football do the talking on the pitch and I thought he was magnificent. Nigel does not let the booing worry him and showed his professionalism throughout the game.
"He was the same as always in the dressing room after the game - calm and collective. He doesn't get above his station."
Meanwhile, Reo-Coker's agent Tony Finnigan has revealed the midfielder received hate mail from some West Ham supporters ahead of the game with Manchester United.
"It got to a boiling point for a young man," Finnigan told Radio Five Live.
"That was the latter part of the week. I just told him to stick it in the dustbin and get ready to go to war against one of the best teams in Europe."
Finnigan also revealed that the player would be holding clear the air talks with Hammers boss Alan Curbishley.
"He is under contract and he is happy there. But I don't know how long he wants to play in front of boos," added Finnigan.
"We will be sitting down with the manager to talk about him in a clear-the-air meeting.
"If you got approached by one of the top sides in Europe then of course you would be flattered but I don't want to talk about something that is hypothetical."