Alan Curbishley has defended his decision to appoint Lucas Neill as West Ham´s new captain - despite critics alleging he only joined them for the money.

Neill could have joined Liverpool when he walked out on Blackburn last January but chose relegation strugglers West Ham instead - where wages of £70,000 a week under the new Eggert Magnusson-led regime were, reportedly, on offer to him - and he in turn helped the Hammers clinch safety.

And manager Curbishley insisted: "He has all the qualities needed to captain a club of this stature."

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