Christian's Ban Fear

Christian Dailly admits that it will be a near impossible task for himself and his fellow defenders to avoid a one match ban for five bookings.

The entire back four that played at Chelsea on Sunday - and will do so again this weekend - are one caution from a ban, and Christian admits: "We don't want anyone else booked. We need all the players we have got because the squad is not very big and suspensions are a big blow.

"We have just got to be sensible and not get involved in too many fights on the park.

"There were no bookings last week but it is going to be a tall order going to the end of February without any of us getting booked, and if we had the scenario of all getting booked in the same game Glenn would have to completely change the team around.

"Obviously we will lose Paolo for a few games now, and Trevor is on four now so he will have to be careful as well."

With Steve Lomas nearing fitness and able to deputise at right back, and Vladimir Labant now approaching full fitness, the positions of Sebastien Schemmel and Nigel Winterburn could be covered, but if central defenders Christian and Tomas Repka were to be yellow carded in the same game there could be a problem - especially since Hayden Foxe could also receive a three match ban for violent conduct in the Fulham game after an altercation with Barry Hayles, for which he was also charged.

But uppermost in Christian's mind is getting revenge at Stamford Bridge, and he says: "At least we have got the chance to come back this weekend and you don't normally get an opportunity like that.

"Hopefully we can sort a few things out and put it right. I think it is a team thing and we shot ourselves in the foot a little bit last week - we have done it a few times this season."

He agrees with Glenn Roeder that having such a Jekyll and Hyde season is as much about psychology as ability, and says: "It should be impossible to have the best defensive home record and the worst away record and that proves it is a mental thing which we must sort out. We have got to do it and keep taking responsibility, and we will get there.

"It is just the mentality away from home. We have to work harder as a team and everyone must think more defensively.

"Every single player has to work really, really hard, put another couple of miles on, and get that defensive mentality right throughout the team. After all, we have got that many good attacking players we can create problems for teams."

Christian says the sending off of Paolo Di Canio, after which two late goals were conceded, had no real bearing on the performance.

"Paolo has held his hand up," says Christian. "He is disappointed, but it happens, we have to deal with it, and there is still no reason why they have to go on and score a couple more.

"We could have sat in, defended really well as a team, and kept it at three, but we didn't do that either."

But the thrashing, which takes the Hammers' goals against tally to 32 away from home, has merely redoubled Christian's determination to help make amends this weekend, and he says: "We want a good run in the cup so we will come back and give it a real go.

"I hate losing a training game, let alone a Premiership game, and it is not worth thinking about losing on Saturday. But Saturday is another day, we have got to be positive about it - and we will."