Lou's Admiration

Former West Ham manager and Manchester United legend Lou Macari says he admires Paolo Di Canio for staying at Upton Park .

"That was pleasing to see," he comments on the transfer saga earlier in the year when Manchester United were interested in signing him, "because in this day and age everyone is moving around willy nilly. One minute they are with one club telling you how wonderful that club is and how loyal they are going to be to them, and as soon as an offer comes along they are up and away.

"With Di Canio, in fairness to him, I think a lot it was down to his agent wanting him to move on for obvious reasons.

"But Paolo is still there and I'm sure everyone connected with West Ham is delighted that he is."

Lou, the Hammers' sixth manager, feels Paul Scholes, left out in midweek against Bayern Munich, will return to the visitors' team at the weekend and adds: "I would think Paul Scholes will be back in the line-up somewhere. I believe he was missed on Wednesday night, no matter what they say about Veron, how much he has cost, and what a great player he is.

"For me Scholes is one of the most important players in the team and I was a little bit disappointed he wasn't in the team, so I think he might be back.

"I would imagine there will definitely be changes because he tends to leave one or two players out after a hard European tie, and that was a difficult match because Bayern Munich are a good side."

Lou is delighted that Glenn Roeder has got West Ham to where they are thus far, and says: "For once I don't think West Ham are desperately needing the points. Normally at this stage of the year they are in a dogfight at the bottom but thankfully they have hit a patch of good form and Glenn Roeder has got the team going.

"I'm pleased with that as well because when he took the job there was a lot of hoo-hah about should he have the job or shouldn't he, and he has come through remarkably well to get the team back in good shape.

"As far as United are concerned, as normal, they desperately need the points."

Lou, who was involved with Manchester United as a player the last time the Hammers did the double over them 25 years ago, recalls the win over United at Old Trafford earlier in the season, which he saw, and says of the rocky period they were in at the time: "They came through that bad patch and managed to go on to better things; but it is a tricky fixture for them at West Ham because I think it would be fair to say that over the years they have had their share of bad results at Upton Park.

"West Ham have tended to be a little bit of a bogey team for them and with the form they are in at the moment you wouldn't pencil it in as a certain away win."

As for West Ham's Jekyll and Hyde season, winning away and losing at home, he comments: "It has never changed - it has always been the case over the years, hasn't it?

"The home form has always been superb. Even when I was there we went on a run in the League Cup and beat Aston Villa and Wimbledon and other teams from the Premiership, but stuttered away from home.

"But that is what West Ham is all about. They are great entertainment, especially at home, they have good support behind them season after season, year after year, and all credit to them.

"I think they have done a little bit better this year than most years, and this is one of those fixtures where you can never write off the home side - they are capable of giving United a good run for their money."

Lou is manager of second division Hiuddersfield Town at the moment, and is hoping for promotion on a shoestring.

"We are doing all right," he says. "It is the important part of the season now with eight games to go for us, and we are in the play-off positions.

"We need to stay in there and if you can get in those play-offs, no matter who is in there with you, anything can happen.

"For all you know we could still be in the first division, but sometimes with the play-offs it is down to good fortune and who strikes form on the day, but I'd sooner be there than not there.

"We had a desperate start to the season, having to sell the players that we thought we could rely on to get us back into the first, but they went and it left us a little bit short - and desperate.

"But we fortunately brought in three or four kids who are doing okay for us. We haven't spent any money, and we have made one loan signing in Leon Knight from Chelsea, who has done remarkably well for us.

"All in all it has will be a good season for us if we can get in the play-offs - but that is the big if, and that is what we have got to do between now and the end of the season."