Hayden Has The Hump

Hayden Foxe says he is amazed to be facing an FA charge with Barry Hayles for violent conduct in the game against Fulham in November.

He could be hit with a three match ban at a time when suspensions are already close for fellow defenders Nigel Winterburn, Sebastien Schemmel, and Tomas Repka, who are all one booking away from a one match ban.

Hayden is mystified by the decision, not to mention the timing of it, and says:

"I just heard about it today; Paul Aldridge mentioned something but it happened a good couple of months ago and I can't understand it.

"There was nothing vicious or nasty, we just had a few words, the referee dealt with it, and I don't even know what we're being charged for.

"We had words as everyone does, but I'd forgotten all about it, to be honest.

"We clashed and he hit me, to be fair, but I didn't make a meal of it as most people would when someone hits you.

"Most people would have rolled around on the floor but I just said a few words to him, the referee just booked us both - and that was it.

"It is the first time I've heard anything about it since; it happened so long ago and I didn't even get a red card or anything.

"I can't understand it, but I'm not sure what happens next; it came as a shock to me and I really don't know the procedures at the moment."

John Moncur faces a two match ban - the away game with Chelsea and the next round of the FA Cup against Chelsea or Norwich - for being sent off at Macclesfield, and Hayden thinks that is unjustified as well.

"It was harmless," he insists, "Moncs went in for a tackle and that was a harsh decision by the ref to even book him for that.

"Moncs just tried to help their player up, it was nothing nasty, and he was sent off - it was very unlucky and a shock for everyone."

John has a two match suspension because he has already been sent off in the reserves this season, but during the period of the ban he can still play reserve team football.

As for the Macclesfield game, in which he came on as a late substitute for gash victim Don Hutchison, he says:

"We knew it was always going to be a tough one and they came out of the blocks raring to go; credit to them, they kept fighting and it took a little time for us to get the game under control.

"It gets frustrating for me because you want to play football but credit to the boys, who have been playing well."

As for the Leicester match, he adds:

"We have to be on our game, which we have been - apart from the Leeds game - on the last eight or nine occasions."

Hayden has had one training session with new signing Vladimir Labant since his £900,000 arrival from Sparta Prague, and he adds:

"It is hard to judge on one session but the scouts at West Ham are a pretty good judge of character and I'm sure he's going to be of benefit to the side."

Vlado is the third non-EC player to join the Hammers, along with Tomas Repka and Svetoslav Todorov. Only three are permitted to play at any one time.