Villa's Reo-Coker: West Ham hate was making of me

Aston Villa midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker believes the way West Ham fans turned on him last season could make his career.

He said: "It might sound stupid but I am very happy because it made me a stronger person and has made me realise how strong a character and thick-skinned you have to be.

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"My experience there wasn't nice and is not what many players go through in their entire careers, but that period really turned me into a man.

"I hold no grudges as, in football, you will get people who dislike you and unfortunately if you throw enough mud it will stick.

"What happened at West Ham wasn't really about my performances but everyone seemed to jump on the bandwagon saying I think I am better than I am.

"I am not arrogant, I am confident which others might take as arrogance, but if you don't believe in yourself who is going to?

"I was alienated but I should be judged on my football performances and they were fairly consistent.

"I know Nigel Reo-Coker will always give 100 per cent regardless of what team I am at. And I should always come off that pitch feeling exhausted. That is what I am about as I am a team player."

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