Wanchope's Denial

Paulo Wanchope insists that he did not call West Ham fans racist earlier in the season.

On the morning of the Manchester City game at Upton Park in November, he was widely quoted as being critical of Hammers' supporters, and was alleged to have said:

"Racial abuse is terrible from anyone but when it comes from your own fans it is harder to take."

But, setting the record straight as he battles to keep Manchester City in the Premiership, he insists:

"I didn't say anything about that; I always say that the fans of West Ham are great because they are always behind the players and support the team well when they go away - they are great people."

The report surprised many of his former colleagues, including Shaka Hislop, a tireless campaigner against racism.

He said at the time that he did not think the allegations had any substance.

Paulo made a second half substitute appearance against West Ham on Saturday, replacing the injured Paul Dickov, and helped weather the storm that City were put under.

"I enjoyed the game because we won and the atmosphere was great as well," he says.

"It was a good end, the last 10 or 15 minutes were good, and we worked very hard to stay alive.

"They won four or five nil against us earlier, I don't remember, but this time we won the game.

"It was good to see everyone, nice team mates, nice people over there, and it was good to see them."