Glenn's Preview

Glenn Roeder is anticipating quite a battle as he prepares his squad to face Leicester on Saturday - as he hopes to go four games unbeaten for the first time this season.

Setting matters on and off the field straight, his first thoughts are the tenacity of the Foxes side, and he says:

"With Manchester United Michael and Joe had to come against the competitiveness of Roy Keane and Nicky Butt and last Saturday Patrick Vieira and Grimandi in the centre of the field.

"They have had a couple of good battles with two good pairs of midfield players that will hopefully stand them in good stead for the battle with Robbie Savage and Dennis Wise returning from suspension.

"I admire many players and without doubt Robbie Savage is a player who has come back the hard way when you consider he was released by Manchester United; he is having a real good career at Leicester City but they have plenty of good players in that department.

"Dennis Wise is a player who has still got plenty of football left in him, Muzzy Izzet is a terrific midfield player who has real quality and a big engine, and we will probably come up against one of our former players in Andy Impey who is very energetic, so it is a decent midfield."

Glenn has the youngest central midfield duo in the Premiership - if not the country - if he sticks with Joe and Michael, and he says:

"I don't know if it's bravery or courage but we did it at Old Trafford when it just seemed the right thing to do and it worked that well I felt we had to stick with it at Arsenal.

"It doesn't mean it will always be like that, though I suppose the one constant is Michael who is developing into that holding midfield player who is probing from a little bit deeper than the other three.

"That suits us because Don likes to get in those forward positions, Joe certainly does and so does Trevor; we couldn't have a fourth midfield player getting forward to often or there'd be a problem when teams counter attack against us.

"I'm sure there will be games where we mix it around again but the balance of the midfield has looked good in the last two games.

"Michael gets on with everything quietly and efficiently and one shouldn't underestimate his value to the side."

Glenn remembers what it is like to be in the relegation zone as Leicester now are, and he says: "Dave Bassett won't like the position he is in, but he is a very optimistic person and will certainly have his players up for the game.

"It is very important we are up for the game and match them all the way, and if we do that we will be able to go on and play our football.

"We want consistency and to get that we need to go on unbeaten runs; we have been unbeaten now for three games and it would be nice to come out of Filbert Street with that record still intact.

"The important thing is to keep the door locked at the back and make our forward forays on the strength of being confident that we are sound at the back first; we don't want to be conceding goals because it is so difficult to score goals in the Premiership - you have to remain tight and keep clean sheets."

Glenn would like to get out of the bottom half as soon as possible and adds:

"What we are doing is to look forward to see who we can catch; we don't want to be looking over our shoulder as we go into the new year, and the next four games are very important.

"We always said December was by far our toughest month and we have done very well in the last few weeks; our performance on the first day of the month at Sunderland deserved at least a draw and quite honestly it could have been a victory.

"We got a win at Old Trafford which was fantastic, and a terrific point against the team with the best away record in the Premiership, Arsenal."

As for matters off the field, and a misdemeanour committed by one of the players at their Christmas party in the west end of London on Tuesday, Glenn reveals:

"When I heard about it I had been in France watching a game and I was disappointed because, as I had understood it, there hadn't been a problem; but it has come to light that there was an incident with one player who I have spoken to and dealt with at lunch time on Thursday.

"He was very apologetic, not just to me but to the club, his team mates, the supporters, and his family; he deeply regrets what happened and hopes it doesn't run and run.

"He has absolutely guaranteed it won't happen again, which obviously it can't, and that is the end of the matter.

"It is sad because of the 24 or 25 boys that went out and had an enjoyable evening it was just the one player that let everyone down, if you want, and we all get tarred with the same brush, unfortunately.

"When the incident happened 60% of the players were already long gone and home in bed, but the way it is portrayed everyone was involved - and that is not the truth.

"It was just one isolated incident that wasn't acceptable; even one is not acceptable, but unfortunately these things do happen from time to time.

"I find it hard to understand because there is no need, and you just shouldn't have those sort of worries to have to deal with; but it has been dealt with and we can get on with the most important thing - and that is playing football.

"At the moment, football is not having the best of publicity; all round the country there have been incidents, the greatest of which was obviously the trial of the Leeds boys, but there have been too many around the country as well that have made the papers.

"There is a responsibility for footballers to keep their heads down and not get involved in such matters; there is no need to, and I don't think it is asking players too much for players to behave at all times in the manner we want them to.

"I hope everyone can put it behind them; fortunately no one was physically injured or hurt - it was not that sort of incident.

"It was just something that was very unsavoury that shouldn't have happened, but it has been dealt with very strongly, and the most important thing now is to feel confident that it will never happen again and to concentrate solely on the football - starting with Saturday against Leicester."

Of the injuries, Glenn says:

"Fredi is probably just a 50/50 at the moment; he is back running but as always I won't take any big gambles with him.

"He has started only nine games this year, scoring six goals, and we taken 14 points in those games - that says it all about how important Kanoute is."

As for transfers, Glenn says of the stories linking the Hammers with Fabrice Fernandes of Rennes this week:

"The only thing I can say about Fernandes is that I was made aware there was an opportunity to look at him, but we could only get involved in a loan situation if we wanted to, which didn't suit him, and he has secured a permanent move to Southampton for around £1m.

"To all intents and purposes it was speculation again; an agent linking us with one of his players - and I know where it has come from."