Hitzlsperger optimistic ahead of West Ham return

The former Germany international had a short spell with the Hammers, but his stay was not a happy period as the London club tasted relegation from the Premier League

Everton midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger will make his first return to former club West Ham on Saturday, and the German insisted that the Toffees go into the clash full of confidence.

Hitzlsperger played for the Hammers during the 2010-11 campaign, making 13 appearances, but the spell was cut short when Avram Grant's side suffered relegation to the Championship.

The 30-year-old is expecting a "physical battle" at Upton Park, and is looking for support from the travelling fans to boost him and his team-mates.

Speaking to evertonTV, Hitzlsperger said: "We go there quite positive because we have not lost many games in 2012. We'll go there and try to win the game even though they are a good side.

"They aren't as direct as Stoke - there's no team like Stoke in this league. West Ham try to play more football but we will be prepared for a physical battle.

"The fans create some very good atmosphere. When I was there we didn't win many games but now they are back up in the Premier League the atmosphere is quite good, but hopefully it will be very quiet on Saturday."

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The former Germany international revealed his happiness while at West Ham, telling how he does remember some periods at the club fondly despite relegation.

He continued: "I have got good memories, although when I first started there I was injured for a long time. I enjoyed playing for the club, there are very good people there but unfortunately we got relegated.

"There are still some players that I know from my time down there. They are good lads and I am glad for the team that the club managed to get straight back into the Premier League."