Glenn: It'll Be Tight

Glenn Roeder is predicting a cracking London derby at Charlton Athletic on Monday night as he looks to secure a second away win of the season for the Hammers.

"London derbies are always tense," he says, "and there has always been rivalry between the two clubs so it could be a tense, tight game.

"This was also the TV game last season on a Monday night, and it was probably one of our best away performances in the league.

"We'll be looking for the same sort of performance this time and a good result."

Glenn is hoping to get the right response after the last match, a 2-0 home defeat against Fulham, and adds: "They have to be big enough to take that one on the chin and start a good run again."

Glenn is cheered by the progress of Joe Cole in recent days, and he is included in the squad, though he is still not ready to start.

"Joe Cole has not had a problem with his foot since returning to training," says Glenn, "he has been doing everything the others have and has looked sharp, back to the Joe Cole we all know.

"But he is short on his physical fitness, which anyone would be, because no matter how much work you do in the gym or swimming pool to keep your aerobic fitness up, nothing is the same as getting on the field and playing to reach what I call 'football fitness'.

"So it will take a fair time for him to get into the physical condition that we want him to so he can do himself justice when we put him back in the team.

"We don't want to be in a position where we rush Joe back; we want him to put him back in with the confidence, both for him and us, that he is ready to last 90 minutes and play like we know Joe can, because when he is on form he is such an exciting talent."

Glenn is pitting his wits against Alan Curbishley for the first time since summer speculation linked him with the West Ham manager's job, and Glenn says: "I am not surprised that when any of the bigger jobs come up he is linked with them.

"When you are linked with players it is often speculation, and as Alan has said himself it was only speculation; he decided to continue with Charlton and their supporters were very pleased with his loyalty.

"Alan has done a fantastic job at Charlton and I am looking forward to taking his team on tonight. We are a similar age and I have played against him many times."

West Ham are 7/4 to win this London derby - click here for details.