Paul: Paolo's Fine

Paul Goddard insists that the continued speculation regarding the future of Paolo Di Canio is not affecting the Italian's preparations for Saturday's FA Cup fourth round tie at Chelsea.

"Paolo is training very well and has been superb. He is happy and contented, and all the lads are giving him friendly stick, which he is taking and giving back," says Paul.

"There is no bad feeling over the whole thing. Everybody knows this is what football is about and he is getting on and training extremely hard, so there are no problems there."

No transfers in or out are in the immediate offing, and Paul adds: "It is all very quiet and I'm sure that Glenn is getting sick of being asked the same questions."

But the latest addition to the Hammers squad, Vladimir Labant, made a promising debut for the reserves on Tuesday night and Paul adds: "Vladimir is pretty rusty because he has not trained and played in the last month prior to yesterday, and doesn't speak English yet."

Indeed, instructions are translated from English to Italian to Czech, and Paul explains: "It is quite funny, because I talk to Paolo, Paolo talks to Tomas, and Tomas tells Vladimir - but we get there in the end.

"Tomas speaks a little bit of Italian and his English is coming along.

"I'm sure Vladimir is starting to feel at home but it is going to take a little while.

"John McCarthy is taking him after our training sessions and giving him a bit more work which we will assess in the week."

As for the weekend, he says: "It will be the second of two very hard games and it is amazing the way fate has made us play two games in succession at Stamford Bridge.

"I'm sure there will be a few things that we will try and revise for the cup game. Chelsea have a lot of talented players so they can change their shape around and play different systems.

"We have got to be aware of that again and we had the experience at Upton Park where they changed and we changed accordingly.

"They have many options and we obviously run a much smaller squad. We have decided the system suits the players we have got, and we are sticking by that, but you must be adaptable and be able to change when you need to.

"We will have to be at our very best to get something from the game."