Gale: Standards Are High

Tony Gale says that Glenn Roeder's success in steering the club on an upward curve will raise expectations for next season.

"I think people who doubted the appointment of Glenn at the start of the season should now hold their hands up and say 'hold on a minute, we haven't done so bad after all'," says Tony.

"With five games left, we have four points more than the whole of last season. It is some going, and I think his first season as West Ham manager has been a success.

"But you have to temper it with the fact that if we did finish seventh place the crowd would be more expectant and expect us to qualify for Europe next year.

"But it just doesn't happen like that - unless he does very well in the transfer market this summer; but I think Glenn will be wanting more of the same next year, and he will be keen that this season doesn't fizzle out.

"If it does, it can overflow to next season, and you can start off badly, and if you do that it gives you problems for the whole season - so we want to finish this one on a high.

"But all is not lost if we lose at Tottenham because we still have that game in hand on teams below us in and around that seventh spot - but we don't want to undo the good work we have done.

"We have got right out of that little relegation scrap that was going on at the bottom, and shot up the table, and it would be lovely to hold it."

As for the debate about who is the bigger club these days, Tony says: "We are definitely as big a club as Spurs - I had this with Spurs supporters before!

"We are going to have the better of the two grounds when the East stand is finished and our capacity is over the 40,000 mark. The stadium is already looking great anyway, the team is looking good, we have a decent manager, and everything is looking well.

"On paper they might look bigger as they went for the Zieges, the Poyets, and the Sheringhams - experienced players on big wages - but we have probably spent as much money as them, anyway, so it is debatable."

Tony is hoping for a second away win on the spin - and only a fourth overall - and adds: "When you looked at the game earlier in the season they were by far the better side, but so were Fulham earlier in the season.

"I think it could be the same sort of reverse, that we could go there and get a result after beating Fulham away.

"It is coming together, and we are finishing the season better - Spurs are looking a bit tired at the moment.

"They need legs, whereas we have got the young boys. Glenn Hoddle has done a good job bringing the experienced ones in, and next season will be his phase two when the youngsters come in.

"But I think we have the better players."