Glenn's Search

Glenn Roeder will step up his search for reinforcements in the coming weeks as he looks at bringing fresh talent to the club.

He admits that he was disappointed with the defensive aspects of the 4-4 draw against Charlton but, of course, delighted with some of the attacking play.

Talking of the draw at the Valley, he reveals that both he and Alan Curbishley had a similar view of the game, and says: "Both of us have not done anything else other than be involved in professional football since we left school, and I think we would share the opinion that from our point of view, in terms of managing, playing and coaching, 4-4 is not a particularly professional result.

"Although you are happy in the attacking third of the pitch because you have scored four, it is counterbalanced by us both being unhappy at conceding four goals.

"I spoke to Alan after the game and he wasn't happy with some of the defending from his team, although I have got to say, and I genuinely mean this, I thought we had to work hard for our goals - and I thought they were excellently executed.

"But I felt two of the goals we conceded were absolute shockers and the defending was just not acceptable.

"I'm not just talking about the three central defenders, I'm talking about defending as a team in general that led to those four goals going in.

"I'm taking the collective view; we have got to learn to defend better individually and as a team, particularly away from home."

Glenn has had time to reflect on the match, having watched it again, and says: "I have looked at the video this morning and you can take two views: we did ever so well on the goals and at times we attack very well with the players we have got, including Joe Cole who gives us options.

"But the video didn't make good viewing from the defending side; we need to work extremely hard on the training ground and we need to be quick learners in that department."

On the plus side, he adds: "It was a stunning return to first team football for Paul Kitson; he must feel very pleased with himself but shares the disappointment that he scored a hat trick and yet wasn't on the winning team.

"Normally when you score a hat trick you expect to win the game but, for him personally, they were three terrific goals.

"All of his efforts were very good; the first goal was a fantastic ball from Paolo with the outside of his right foot, but Paul still had a lot of work to do to control it with his chest and hit a terrific drive in off the post.

"The second goal was, from a team's point of view, probably the best goal of the game with a sweeping move involving Di Canio and a great early ball in from Scott Minto, with Kitson finishing like all good strikers should do.

"The third goal was tucked away nicely and there were no lucky goals there; they were all excellently executed and he was a very proud man walking out of The Valley with the ball tucked under his arm.

"I'm sure he is still the same player; he was very unlucky last year with niggly injuries and never really got to full fitness but has been very motivated this year and has been very patient just waiting for his chance."

Glenn knows he must bring in some fresh faces, however, and he adds: "We're still looking to bring a couple of people in what I still feel are key areas, but I'll have to keep those to myself and work very hard trying to find the right two.

"That's how I see it now, to bring in at least two more players, and I am working hard to identify them.

"We're often linked in the centre back position but we are looking at all areas."

There is an outside chance of renewing interest in Alessandro Pierini, Tomas Repka's erstwhile defensive partner in Italy, and Glenn says: "Alessandro Pierini was a player that we were looking at earlier in the season and had over for talks; he is someone that I feel would play well in the Premiership.

"He is an old fashioned centre half, if you want, who is excellent at defending in the key areas.

"Fiorentina are evidently in a bad financial state and it is possible that we might be able to do something in that area, but we are just waiting to see.

"I think the loan option for a couple of players, or even three, is the road we could be going down between now and the end of the season.

"But we would only be bringing in someone who is up to the required standard and can play a part in the team's performance."

Glenn is not restricting himself to centre half targets, however, and he adds: "We are always looking at all positions because we need to improve the quality of the squad, and I think it is important to find two or three players that put pressure on the first team players.

"I don't think there is any better motivation than having pressure on your place; it is not healthy to have a situation where, as a first team player, you know that if you don't play well you are still going to play the following week simply because there isn't anyone to take your place.

"Ultimately, I would like to be able to alter that, and you will only be able to do that by bringing in more players of quality to put pressure on those in the team.

"That is a key reason why the big clubs do so well, because they have such big squads of international players that the players who have got the shirts at any particular time know they must perform, or they will lose their place to a player of equal ability."