One In, One Out

Youssef Sofiane is absent from the weekend's squad to face Charlton Athletic, as he has been selected for France under-19s, while Steve Lomas has told Glenn Roeder: 'Count me in!'

Youssef has been included in the French squad that has been together since Tuesday and has survived the cut from 25 players down to 18 for next week's tour of Russia. He will return on September 10th.

Meanwhile, Steve Lomas, who was originally scheduled for a return against West Bromwich Albion, has come back early after recovering well from his shin problem, though he admits: "I have been out training for a couple of days but I don't think I will be involved. Being in the squad is a bonus and it is just about getting games in.

"I presume they will want me to play in the reserves at Wimbledon on Monday as I have not played apart from 45 minutes at Leyton Orient - I have missed quite a bit of football.

"In the last two weeks my fitness has not really been a problem but match fitness is a different thing when it comes to Premiership football.

"But if I am needed as a sub I will be ready."

Steve says it is vitally important to get the first victory of the season at the weekend and adds: "We need a win to get the season up and running. Four points from three games would be okay after a tough trip to Newcastle and the fact that you would have taken a point from the Arsenal match, although as it panned out we could have been sitting there with three points.

"You put pressure on yourself the longer it goes on, though, as we know from last year, and there were quite a few games last season when it could have turned if we hadn't won."

Steve knows that even when he is fit he faces obstacles between him and a first team place, and says: "I don't know if we have more personnel than last season, but there is plenty of competition in midfield though we are light up front with Paolo not around.

"If Fredi gets injured, as was shown against Newcastle when he didn't play, we are a bit short of someone to lead the line.

"That might be something the gaffer has looked at but obviously when Paolo comes back it is another body - and hopefully that won't be too far away.

"In midfield, Eduoard has come in and done very well, as has Joe on the right, and John Moncur is looking fit and sharp. There is Hutch to come back as well and if you look at that midfield there would be a lot of clubs more than happy with that spectrum of players.

"I thought Eduoard did very well against Arsenal. Obviously Newcastle was a very difficult game for him to come into, but he did okay in that game - and very well against the Gunners."

Squad: James, Van der Gouw, Schemmel, Pearce, Repka, Dailly, Winterburn, Breen, Cole, Sinclair, Cisse, Carrick, Labant, Garcia, Moncur, Lomas, Kanoute, Defoe, Camara.