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McCartney hails West Ham fringe players

George McCartney believes West Ham's fringe players are proving their quality with so many teammates out with injury.

The Hammers have an entire team of players in the treatment room but are still hovering around mid-table in the Premier League, and they also have silverware in their sights after reaching the quarter-finals of the Carling Cup.

Hayden Mullins was the latest player to pick up a knock - he was taken off during the 1-1 draw against Bolton - and Curbishley is hoping to stay handily placed before the likes of Dean Ashton and Craig Bellamy return.

"We have a big squad here but the majority of them are injured at the moment, including the signings we made during the summer," said McCartney, who opened the scoring against Bolton.

"It's disappointing to have so many injuries although the players who have come in have done a great job.

"Considering that, we've probably done well to be where we are in the league and progressing nicely in the Carling Cup.

"I am sure when the players come back we will be a stronger team all round."

McCartney's acrobatic finish against Bolton was the full-back's first goal in club football - but it is in defence where he has been impressing this season.

"I'm pleased with my form," he added.

"The manager strengthened every position during the summer apart from left-back.

"Then the fans were saying they wanted a left-back but hopefully I've proved to them that I can play at this level.

"I hope now they might have changed their thoughts about bringing someone else in."

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