Paolo's Wish

Paolo Di Canio says he would rather have a bad season personally - if West Ham have a successful campaign.

"I do not want to be like Fabrizio Ravanelli at Middlesbrough, scoring 35 goals for a relegated team," he says.

"If I score five own goals and West Ham finish in the top five I would be happy.

"At the moment if we finish outside the bottom five it will have been a good season.

"The squad is thin, and we could end up with seven of the youth team playing.

"But the supporters might like that because they could be better than us!"

He says observers must be realistic in their assessment of the coming season, adding:

"I cannot lie to the supporters and say I think we will finish in the top four; they understand the game more than 20 years ago.

"We need some new players, maybe three, but I have been promised that will happen."

And, revealing why he shaves his legs, he says:

"We get a massage every day and it is to stop the oils getting mixed in with the hairs.

"Anyway - all the girls like it!"

He says he is totally at home at Upton Park, despite constant rumours of his impending departure, and explains just why he is so content.

"The fans here took to me from day one," he says.

"At Sheffield Wednesday it took seven or eight games, but here they were singing my name from the start."

* The players will not be training at Chadwell Heath next Thursday but will have a closed session at Upton Park.

Press day will be switched to Friday.