Laursen's A No-go

Glenn Roeder has reiterated that he is not about to bring Martin Laursen from AC Milan to Upton Park when the transfer window opens.

"It is speculation; I am very aware of him and his ability, and he wouldn't be at AC Milan if he wasn't a top class defender," says of the Danish centre half.

"He is 6' 3" and would be a fantastic addition to the squad, but apparently he is happy with life in Milan and, though he is not in the team at the moment, he is waiting to get into that team again so we have to accept that and look elsewhere."

Glenn, speaking ahead of the Southampton game, is asking fans not to expect too much from Fredi Kanoute in his first senior game for nine weeks.

"Fredi has been out a hell of a long time and we are asking an awful lot for him to be 100% - it is almost impossible to expect," he says.

As for Don Hutchison, who has been out as many months as Fredi has weeks, Glenn says:

"Don has had a very nasty injury; in terms of physical fitness he is not in bad shape but he needs a couple more matches to get his sharpness back over those first four or five yards.

"But he is very positive and wants to join the battle.

"We are absolutely stretched and we couldn't contemplate losing any more players."

Glenn says the defending has to improve, citing the example of the Aston Villa game as being one that was winnable but for defensive errors, and he adds:

"We keep taking it on the chin but we have to protect our chin better and land a few knockout blows ourselves; we have a specific game plan for Southampton and hopefully it will work - but Villa was a very frustrating afternoon.

"It was a shocking result, there is no doubt about it, but the result didn't tell the whole story in terms of performance.

"Before they scored we had two chances that you dream about with Joe and Jermain and if you are two goals to the good away it puts a different complexion on the day.

"It is a old cliche that goals change games, but they do, both collectively and individually.

"We kept taking the game to Aston Villa but there were two tremendous saves with Eduoard Cisse and Trevor in one on ones - or two misses depending on what side you are on - and it gives some indication what a bizarre game it was when the home goalkeeper got man of the match in a game his side won 4-1 - which is what the history books will tell you we lost by.

"We watched the whole game on video on Tuesday, 90 minutes of stop/start which took two and a half hours, and the players kept commenting that it was hard to believe we lost 4-1.

"But again we were let down by shoddy defending, we got back in the game at 2-1 and within 90 seconds they have a two goal cushion again."

Glenn retains his belief that West Ham's fortunes will improve and he concludes:

"We have rallied them all last week and they are look forward to the game on Monday - it is not a question of anything else.

"You have to be optimistic in this game; things change very quickly and we have to change them quickly."