Cross:we're Getting Better

Roger Cross reckons that Vladimir Labant will be joining a squad of players that is improving week by week.

The Hammers coach sees a growing maturity among the younger players in the squad, and argues that the newer arrivals are blending in nicely.

"I do see an improvement," he says, assessing the campaign so far.

"The lads are doing quite well and the younger players are definitely growing up within the side and throughout the season.

"We are seeing a lot of difference in players and I'm looking forward to the second half.

"We are reasonably satisfied. We have picked up a few injuries along the way to vital players but we are a point up on last season and I know that we can get better - and I'm sure we will.

"We just don't need too many injuries - that is a crucial thing for us because we have no real depth in terms of experienced players."

Roger is pleased to be back to Premiership action after avoiding a potential cup upset at Macclesfield on Sunday, and he explains: "They are very, very difficult games and certainly not ones you look forward to. They are always tough - the hardest games to get through, I feel.

"The lads were well prepared, a few of them have played in those sort of games before and they know the situation.

"They got a lot of balls into the box and forced a lot of corners and free-kicks and you have to defend them, which we did well.

"The next round is fine but Saturday is of utmost importance to us, a very important game, and we must pick up three points."

Roger says it is time to kill teams off when dominating matches, after a run of just one defeat in seven games, but only two victories.

He adds: "We have had a good run with a lot of draws that could have been wins without any doubt. Leeds was always going to be a difficult game, though I thought between the goals we played quite well, but lacked a killer punch on the day.

"We now look forward to the weekend and hopefully getting that win at home."

As for the situation regarding Paolo Di Canio, Roger says: "We are not sure what is going to happen yet but we are confident in all the forwards we have got at the club - we will just wait and see."