WEST HAM full-back Guy Demel hopes his club will draw some benefit from what he intends to be a successful spell away from east London with the Ivory Coast at the African Nations Cup.
The 31-year-old has just overcome a hernia problem and is likely to return for Sam Allardyce's side for the visit of Stoke tonight. But he will soon travel to South Africa with the rest of the Ivorian squad for the continental tournament, which kicks off on January 19.
Demel said he is relishing the prospect of winning the tournament but will also miss being part of West Ham's season at a pivotal time.
"Going to the African Nations Cup will be good as I will be part of this competition for my country, but of course, I will miss some games for my club," he said.
"Playing my part in helping my club do well in the Premier League and achieving the goals we want is also extremely important to me, so the way I can look at it is that hopefully I will play well for my country and come back ready to help my club again."
Demel joined West Ham in the summer of 2011 ahead of their Championship season that ended with play-off final success against Blackpool.
But despite being Allardyce's first-choice right-back when fit, a number of injuries have kept the former Hamburg defender out of the side for prolonged periods.
When asked if he was frustrated by his injury luck, Demel said: "Yes, because you want to be playing all the time, you want to be available for the manager to pick you -- I was looked after very well here at the club to get through the injuries I have had.
"Now, hopefully I can keep well and free of injuries and be able to play well as I said in the African Nations Cup, and do well for my club for all of the season."
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