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West Ham skipper Neill impressed by rookie Tomkins

West Ham United captain Lucas Neill has praised the form of rookie defender James Tomkins.

Reflecting on Tomkins' full debut against Everton last week, Neill told whufc.com: "James Tomkins looked like he had been playing in central defence for a lot longer. The game seemed to come easy to him and he showed maturity beyond his years to get over his initial nerves and come into his own."

On West Ham's young trio Tomkins, Freddie Sears and Jack Collison, Neill also remarked: "It is great to have Tomka, Jack and Freddie pushing the rest of the squad. It was a shame that Freddie picked up a slight knock at the end of the Everton game so he could not continue his run in the team but we will hopefully have him back for the crucial six-pointer against Portsmouth.

"It's only a matter of time before Jack is given his opportunity again although he might have to be patient with the competition we currently have for midfield. A special mention must go to Tomka for his brace for England U19s in the week. No doubt his debut at Goodison filled him with confidence to go and play well for the national team which topped off a fantastic week for him."

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