Alvin: It Takes Time

Alvin Martin believes it will take time for Glenn Roeder to get things right at the club - and cites the example of Saturday's opponents Tottenham Hotspur as proof.

"Over the years you can see an immediate reaction to a manager coming in for four or five games, and then you see it falling away again - Bradford and Jim Jefferies is an example," he says.

"But that is not the best way to go about it; a good example is Glenn Hoddle at Spurs, who is taking time to get it right; he has made lots of changes but the fruits of that hard work are beginning to show now.

"I think it will be the same here with Glenn Roeder and I'm sure it will pay dividends. It is best to start off gradually changing mentalities over a period of time because the future of a club is over decades not weeks.

"I feel he has got enough quality to be able to get things back on track but he knows he needs two or three more players.

"At any football club it is about uniting and sticking together and proving people wrong; it is about getting ideas through to players and them reacting and responding."

Alvin is backing Glenn to turn things around in time, though, and adds: "Glenn was at Burnley as assistant to Chris Waddle when I was manager at Southend so I have come across him.

"I said to Glenn before the Southampton game that every now and then you need an element of luck as well as just picking and preparing the best team, and possibly Glenn had it in that week of three successive wins."

Alvin says he would love to roll back the years and help out in central defence, joking: "Given half a chance I would get my boots on again - but common sense prevails!"

And he has sympathy with the problem Glenn may face in having to replace Trevor Sinclair - if he does leave the club.

"It will be hard because there are not that many wide players about - you can see the problems that England have and they have the whole country to pick from. Trevor is, to a certain degree, irreplaceable and the price has got to be right.

"I have read that Sunderland are baulking at £10m but if they can can find a better player than Trevor Sinclair for less than £10m I'd be surprised.

"I'm sure he can improve even further with the right coaching but he is under contract here and the club has given him a road back to the top as it were.

"One thing I learnt over the years at Upton Park was that you have to work hard, no matter who you are and he has only one option which is to keep working because if, over three or four games, they see that you are not, they let you know.

"So it is the professional attitude but also the sensible one."