West Ham boss Curbishley: Bellamy better than I thought

West Ham United boss Alan Curbishley is convinced Craig Bellamy can become an Upton Park hero.

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Curbishley said: "Craig is a better player than I thought. He is very professional and there has not been a minute's problem with him here.

"But I did say when Craig signed for us 'are you going to be remembered for your football?' and it's the same situation with Kieron Dyer.

"I said to Craig - and Kieron - 'it's about time people started talking to you about your football' and I hope they take the baton up and that's what happens.

"Craig accepted the point. I said 'if you come here and do it for West Ham, they will carry you around the ground' and 'you've got an opportunity for that happen.'

"Hopefully that is a spur for him."

Curbishley believes it is unfair for Bellamy's entire career to be regarded as a troublesome affair.

He said: "People say Craig has had a lot of clubs but you should all do your homework on that. At Norwich he was 20 when he left there and they got relegated. He went to Coventry and they got relegated.

"At Newcastle he freely admits he had a couple of bust-ups there.

"But Craig goes to Celtic and Blackburn and does fantastically well. He goes to Liverpool and has had no bust-ups with the manager. I spoke to Rafael Benitez about that.

"They just went different routes and Craig is made available so I had no hesitation in getting him. I went deep into his background and that of Kieron but I did that with all the boys we signed."

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