Paul's Preview

Paul Goddard says he has been as busy as ever during the two week break from action.

"We have all been out watching loads of games and doing some scouting missions, and life goes on," he insists.

No loan deals have been forthcoming as a result, however, and Paul says:

"It is the old adage that Glenn is adamant that he is not going to bring anyone in who is not useful enough to play, and in his opinion there hasn't been anyone to meet those criteria."

French striker Youri Djorkaeff recently joined Bolton until the end of the season, having claimed that West Ham were chasing his signature, but Paul's response to that is:

"Not to my knowledge."

As for the Boro game, he says:

"We have got four out with suspensions and injury, but these are things you have just got to get on with.

"It is going to be a tough, hard game against Middlesbrough, and it is a game we are all looking forward to.

"There is a group of them in the whole league that have had tough times and good times; they are in a good period at the moment and they have got a very good backbone to their team.

"With Schwarzer back in goal, Ehiogu and Southgate at the back, that is a massive part of their team, a very strong defensive unit they have got.

"Ian Pearce has had a tough time in the last year and a half and it's nice to see anyone come back after such a long time.

"I'm sure he will be looking forward to getting back into action, and he has a smile on his face again."

As for the Bolton defeat, he adds:

"It was a game that we dominated especially in the second period of the game, and strangely, I have never seen a Premiership team go like Bolton did with their defending; they literally sat on the edge of the box and didn't venture forward so it made it very very difficult for us to break them down.

"We were disappointed that we didn't create more chances with the amount of ball we had.

"We probably deserved to get something out of the game but credit to Bolton for hanging in there to get the win.

"We were quite pleased with Richard Garcia's full debut; he got thrust in there and he didn't let himself down - our us.

"He was very close a couple of times but our best chances probably came in the first half an hour and if we had scored it would have changed the shape of the game.

"But in hindsight missing the six players or so was vital and, like a lot of teams, we need to have our strongest side out there most weeks."