Dailly Responds

Christian Dailly insists that he and Rigobert Song CAN make a successful central defensive partnership.

He bristles at the notion that playing at the heart of defence is neither his, nor Rigo's, best role.

One senior journalist wrote at the weekend that 'neither Rigobert Song nor Christian Dailly are really centre halves', while former Hammer Tony Gale says he regards Christian as a full back or wing back.

But Christian, who meets up with the Scotland party on Tuesday and faces his old club Derby in just under a fortnight's time, insists:

"I tend to always play at centre half and just fill in other positions for the team when I am asked to do so.

"And to be fair, Rigo plays centre half for his national team as well - so we are both playing in our best positions even though we are both versatile.

"We are just a couple of honest boys playing at the back, and with everybody talking it makes a difference.

"We have been working so hard but we have to keep it going.

"Rigo is fine, he likes me shouting at him to keep him on his toes."

And he says the performance against Leeds is proof positive that the pair are forging a decent partnership.

"We have done loads of work, and it is great playing alongside Rigo.

"He is so honest, and works so hard, and it is paying dividends.

"The gaffer has got us working all the time on what we are doing and you can see that it helps.

"There were no goals on Saturday but we could have sneaked one ourselves.

"We were breaking well, keeping the ball, and making sure it was tight.

"I think it augurs well for the future."

But he knows that Glenn Roeder is looking for a stopper or two, and says:

"The team is looking for another centre back and everybody knows that, but at the end of the day if whoever comes can't get in because we are doing so well, or if we can't get in because whoever arrives is doing the business, it can only be good for the club.

"It is not about individual success; sometimes we can be a little bit guilty of everybody being too individual at times, but we are really concentrating on being a team here.

"Hopefully with the fans behind us we can only go forward - it is a team thing.

"At Liverpoool last week it was the same - we are very much a team with the system we have."

Everything, he says, is pointing towards a good season, and he adds:

"We have a new fitness coach and are working very hard -  I can guarantee we are working harder than most other teams.

"That made a difference on such a hot day like Saturday.

"We are doing fine, though we would have loved a point at Liverpool and three against Leeds.

"But you don't always get your way in this league.

"As long as you get into the right habits, though, that is the main thing."

And he adds that any fears about Upton Park not having such a good atmosphere while the building work is going on have been allayed.

"There was no shortage of atmosphere; we'd been talking the day before about what it would be like, but if anything it was louder."