Roeder's Battle Cry

Hammers boss Glenn Roeder says the opening fixtures in the new Premiership season hold no fears for him - even if it is nearly 40 years since West Ham last won at Anfield!

"They don't come any bigger than Liverpool away, the holder of three cups, but all the games in the Premiership are difficult for everybody," he says.

But Glenn insists that being confident is half the battle: "The players have got to believe they can go to places like Anfield and Old Trafford and come back with results, and it will be slightly easier if the players have that confidence in themselves on the day. 

"If they don't have that belief it's going to be that much more difficult.

"There are different characters that make up a squad and there will be players that will have great belief in themselves and think they can win anywhere.

"There are also characters that perhaps won't be so confident and it is those sort of people that I've got to get into and make them have some belief.

"I'm already looking forward to the season kicking off though."

After Anfield, of course, £29m worth of former West Ham home grown talent returns to Upton Park as first Chelsea, with Frank Lampard, and then Leeds, with Rio Ferdinand, visit in the second and third games of the season.

Leeds chairman Peter Ridsdale has been quoted as saying Chelsea paid over the odds for Frank, and has suggested that Rio could now be worth more than they paid. Supporters will be able to judge for themselves.

Glenn says he hopes there will be a good response to Frank's early return: "The return of Frank to Upton Park will add more spice to an already attractive fixture, and then Rio back again a few days later.

"He's already had a great reception at Upton Park, and you'd like to think Frank will as well.

"Frank is a player who has come through the ranks and done ever so well for the club, played for England while at West Ham and I hope that the fans give him a good reception before concentrating on getting behind us.

"Just the same as Liverpool, Chelsea and Leeds will have Champions' League ambitions this season, so it is an interesting start for us."