Paolo Proud

Paolo Di Canio says he is delighted with the win over Southampton - but that the side must keep up the momentum.
"I'm very happy because it took the pressure off the manager," he says "and we have to put our attention to Chelsea now - it is a key game if we are to get into the top half - but I hope we can score more goals against them.
"It was a very important win, fantastic, but that was the minimum we could have done for the supporters and the shirts we wear.
"Glenn is a good lad and a good manager and deserves more time to understand all the players.
"It is important we took the pressure off him because he needs the chance.
"In the first 20 minutes we tried to play good football and I missed a chance, but nobody tried to blame me, and put me under pressure.
"For me that was very important and it gives me the strength to go to Chadwell Heath every day and work hard.
"The pressure isn't only on Glenn - we have seen two or three managers sacked already.
"When you are young, and not Alex Ferguson, you go quickly under pressure if you don't have a result.
"That is the rules of football for managers, unfortunately.
"But I couldn't have imagined he would have been sacked if we had lost to Southampton, but it would have been very difficult not only for the manager, but for all of us.
"But the manager is the first under pressure even if, should we lose, it is not Glenn's fault but ours.
"Now we have to think about Chelsea and then from Thursday morning we will think about doing something different to play good football away."
Talking of two goal hero Fredi Kanoute, Paolo adds:
"I hope he can continue in this way; he has such a massive talent but sometimes he needs someone to push him."
And he insists that the incident with Nigel Winterburn, where he dragged him away from arguing with the referee, was no problem to either player.
"I was not fighting with Nigel," he says, "I said to him 'calm down' because otherwise the referee was going to book him.
"I can understand the reaction; it wasn't against me, and at the end of the game he said 'sorry, I didn't know it was you, I thought maybe it was an opponent'.
"This is normal and if I was sure we would win every game I would fight every day with my team mates."
Entering the debate about the 'Chelsea six', the players who refused to travel to Israel in midweek, he admits:
"I can understand; I'd be lying if I said I would definitely have gone because I don't like flying.
"But at the end of the day I would fly because I have to respect the contract, or maybe I would spend 10 days going by car!
"But I can't say anything against them because I can understand that their families were very worried, so I can't blame them.
"They made the decision, and to be honest I can understand it, because I am scared of flying - even without the situation we have at this moment.
"You can imagine flying to a place with a big risk, even if they tell you Tel Aviv is the most secure city in the world you don't believe it so I wouldn't blame them.
"Maybe with 10 tablets I would have flown because I would respect the contract and the supporters."
It is no secret that Paolo was disappointed when his good friend Gianluca Vialli was sacked as Chelsea boss a year ago, but he has been impressed with what his successor has done.
"Now they have bought three or four new players and I think Ranieri has done a good job," he says.
"They lost Wise, the leader, so they have to play in a different way this year.
"I think they will fight for one of the top four places because Ranieri is a good Roman boy and a professional manager - even if he is a Roma supporter!"
He acknowledges that Ranieri did have a tough time initially, not least because he could not speak English.
"You have to understand that when foreign people come here it is not easy because we have a different mentality," he says.
"I am still speaking very bad English but it doesn't matter if jokes are made about it because I have that open character.
"Maybe he was a little bit shy at first but I am glad he is speaking English now.
"I want foreign people moving to England to do that as soon as possible because you have to respect the culture and the nation and its people where you are a guest.
"Of course it takes time, but I couldn't imagine Ranieri not speaking English this season."
Chelsea were interested in Paolo's services at one stage, and Paolo adds:
"I decided to stay here and West Ham have the first option on me but when a club wants you it shows you have done a good job in the past.
"If Real Madrid offered me £20m - not lire - for three months' work I would not ask West Ham for that money.
"I would say, 'listen, I have a big opportunity, but remember you decide my future, I want to stay, it's up to you'.
"Stay with me and give me a chance to feel I am important to this club.
"Other clubs apart from Chelsea have been in for me in the past but I want to dedicate myself completely to West Ham."
And he insists he was right to make a harsh assessment of last weekend's performance, adding:
"What I said a few days ago is what everybody thinks but only I said it; some people preferred not to speak about it but that is a different character.
"I can't imagine anyone thinking we were unlucky after a 7-1 defeat.
"The world would be very boring if everyone was the same, but they didn't react because I said anything, they reacted because we are all professional footballers, internationals like Nigel Winterburn and Tomas Repka, or fantastic players like Fredi Kanoute."