Nigel On Pressure

Nigel Winterburn reckons the out of proportion criticism Glenn Roeder has had recently could be enough to put him off going into management himself.
Asked whether he would like to become a boss when he hangs up his boots, he says:
"Seeing the stick that Glenn got in the last week I would have my doubts about that; he has just come into the job, eight games have gone, and people are talking about the sack, which is well over the top.
"There was only pressure put on us from outside the club, no one put any on from inside; we've all been working tremendously hard to put things right.
"As for Stuart Gray, I think he had already lost his job before our game and that must be a problem for a manager, working with a team not knowing it was his last game.
"At the moment I just want to concentrate on playing and don't want to look too far ahead."
Nigel agrees with Frank Lampard himself in saying he does not know what reaction he will get from the West Ham fans as he returns to Upton Park for the first time, and says:
"He did very well for West Ham and it will be interesting to see what sort of reception he gets; I was only here a year with him and he worked very hard in that time.
"But I was worried when I went back to Arsenal for the first time."
The focus will also be on the crowd reaction to the Chelsea players who refused to travel to Israel last week, and Nigel comments:
"It is nothing to do with me, it is to do with Chelsea and the players that didn't go.
"They have got their reasons, they had their doubts, and I think on the whole you have to respect those; it's easy to pass comment from the outside.
"It has been blown out of all proportion; they were given the choice and some of them decided not to go."
Nigel insists that the players have not yet atoned for the losses at Blackburn and Everton and adds:
"After the two heavy away defeats we had to show our character more than anything else and I think we did that in the right way.
"But that is only a small part of putting things right and we now know we have to continue that, not only at home, but away as well."
Nigel didn't play at Ewood Park but even the disappointment of the Everton game remains fresh in the mind.
"Personally, to lose 5-0 and play poorly does affect you, because you are a professional person and you want to do things to the best of your ability," he says.
"But on given days things don't go right for you and it's not easy when you get beaten by that many goals.
"Let's hope they were a blip; we have discussed the two defeats and we think we have put certain things right that were wrong in those games - but we will only know when we play our next away game.
"We have played fairly well in all the games we have played at home but we have to pick up points away sooner rather than later.
"It will lift the players if we get something from the Chelsea game and then people will be watching us at Ipswich because it is the first away trip since the two heavy defeats."
West Ham have a point more than at the corresponding stage of last season, having played one less home game, and Nigel says the side's current position should be put into perspective.
"We have picked up more points but I think the reason why everyone has been panicky outside the club was because those heavy defeats stand out.
"If it had been 1-0 or 2-0 people might not have talked so much.
"There are other teams down there that have spent an awful lot of money and they are not that far ahead of us; I think the league is very tight at the moment and we need to keep picking up points.
"We have got great belief and hopefully we will show that in the rest of the season."
As for his fitness, he says:
"I've had a slight problem with my back and it was decided I needed to get that right before I played again.
"Hopefully that is all cleared up and I can play for the rest of the season if I can play to the standard that the manager wants.
"I could train and play in all the games but when I talk about recovery it is being in the best physical condition to play those games.
"I'm sure I could play in them all but it is a case of whether I am 100% and I don't think it's worth going into a game if you don't think you can perform to the best of your ability."
Nigel is calling for a concerted effort against Chelsea, and adds:
"We want to stay unbeaten at home to lift not only the players but the fans as well, but it will be a very competitive game against some fantastic players.
"It doesn't matter how much talent you have got in the team, if you don't work hard you will get beaten."