West Ham: Hammers defender Tomkins feels he is maturing

In form Tomkins keen to get better

QUIETLY and efficiently James Tomkins is getting the job done.

Known in the past for high-profile errors rather than solid defending, the Academy Graduate has been in top form of late and a major factor in West Ham’s mini resurgence which has seen them move out of the bottom three for the first time this season.

The Hammers picked up eight points from four games over the festive period, with their last three coming on New Year’s Day in a 2-0 win over bottom club Wolves at Upton Park.

It’s a far cry from when the two met towards the end of last season in east London when the Midlanders won 3-1, with a Tomkins error gifting Kevin Doyle the opener.

“I feel I’ve matured a lot. Obviously last year I learnt a lot, and I’ve played quite a lot of games for my tender age,” he said.

“I just keep trying to improve and keep learning from the people around me. I’ve got an experienced back four that I play with. The other players I play with are experienced, so it’s good to learn from them. I’m just enjoying playing at the minute.

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“In the Wolves game last season there were circumstances when it was even closer to the end of the season. I’ve matured a lot since then and like I said I’m learning and enjoying playing.”

At only 21, there is plenty opportunity for further improvement and playing in a settled back four keeping clean sheets will only aid his progression.

“We’re defending well as a team and with the new defensive coach as a back four we’ve just improved and come together,” he said.

“We’ve played together for a couple of games now, so hopefully we’re developing a good partnership there now. The two centre-halves, Danny (Gabbidon) and Tal (Ben Haim), who normally play centre-half, are doing really well playing for us at full-back. I hope they can keep that going, so we can keep building as a back four for the rest of the season.

“The team spirit has gone up even more and we’re more together and hopefully, having started the year well, we can just keep that going.”