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West Ham defender believes his team have nothing to fear against the Gunners

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Defender James Tomkins has told his West Ham United team-mates they have nothing to fear when London rivals Arsenal visit Upton Park on Saturday.

The 23-year-old played a key role in the Hammers 2-1 win over QPR on Monday night, which took Sam Allardyce’s side above the Gunners into seventh place in the Premier League table.

And, with 11 points, two home wins and oodles of confidence gained already this season, Tomkins believes West Ham can give Arsene Wenger’s cosmopolitan side a run for their money.

“We have played teams around where we could finish this season and we have stepped up to the challenge and done really well,” said Tomkins.

“Hopefully we can continue that. We are going to be positive going into the Arsenal game. We are going to give it a right go, especially at home where we have got a good record.

“We have played with a lot of freedom so far this season and I think we are all now just looking forward to the games, trying to keep this run going and that will be important on Saturday.”

Tomkins, who was playing in the West Ham Academy the last time the Irons beat Arsenal in 2006, may have to settle for a place on the bench with Winston Reid likely to be fit enough to partner James Collins at centre-back.

The Basildon-born defender has made just one league start so far this season – in a 3-0 defeat to Swansea, where he was dragged off at half-time.

And Tomkins admits his summer exploits at the Olympic Games have held him back a little in the early knockings of this campaign.

“I wanted to represent Great Britain and the manager gave me the chance to and I appreciated that,” he said.

“I went there expecting to play more than I did in the end, so obviously I wasted a lot of time and then Ginge [James Collins] and Reidy played a lot together in pre-season and impressed the manager.

“It was disappointing, but I suppose that is what football is like. You have to keep your head down and work hard in training.

“I want to play games, that is important to me. So it is frustrating to watch, but if we keep getting the results, it’s nice to come on and help win games.”

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