Roeder: It's Serious

Glenn Roeder has warned his players not to underestimate the task ahead at Reading - and promises that he is an admirer of the Worthington Cup as a competition.

"Sponsors put a lot of money into competitions and they deserve to have it treated seriously," he says.

"We try and win every game we play in; we will give the Worthington Cup the respect it merits."

As for the opposition, he says:

"No away game at a lower league club is easy and Reading have started the season very well.

"With Martin Allen the first team coach there, I am sure they are going to be fired up on their own ground.

"We are going to a nice stadium and a lovely pitch, so it is up to us to be focused on the night and as motivated as they will be."

He has called on his players to be more effective in front of goal after two scoreless draws in a row and adds:

"We had periods in the game at Derby when we were quite dominant and if we had been a little more ruthless we could have scored that first goal.

"But Shaka Hislop made three or four superb saves and deserved his clean sheet."

He admits it was a bruising encounter, the after effects of which are still being felt by one or two players, and adds:

"Jim Smith's teams never give anything less than 100%; if you don't he lets you know - and you don't do it twice anyway."

The Hammers are 13/2 to win 2-0 and 11/1 to triumph 3-0 - click for details.