Paul Preaches Patience

Paul Goddard says that Jermain Defoe will have to remain patient for the time being as he looks to become a first team regular.

Jermain, who of course scored the winner at Old Trafford earlier in the season is, according to Paul, "chomping at the bit" to start games.

"Jermain is training well," says Paul. "He has got to be a little bit patient but, like a good professional, he wants to play."

Paul knows all about being the 'third' striker, having had a frustrating season in 1985-86 when he found it hard to break through the McAvennie/Cottee front pairing, and he says: "I had a very frustrating one year behind Tony and Frank when the club fortunately had a great run and ended up finishing third in the league.

"It is a horrible situation because you are used to playing, but you have to be professional and understand that if the front two are doing the business there is not a lot you can do about it.

"But it is at different stages completely. Jermain is just starting out and it is because his career has been so meteoric so far that he is obviously finding it more frustrating because, after having had a taste, he wants it all the time.

"We are very mindful of the fact that he is still young and when Jermain had a few games in a row there was a little bit of a burn out so we have got to be very careful with him.

"It is competition. Ask any of the players where there are big squads, they know if they don't do the business then there are players who will come in and take their place.

"It will always instil a bit more desire in you to do well, and it is a long time since West Ham have been in this position of having competition for places - and Paul Kitson is sitting there as well."

And so thoughts turn to a 'double' over Manchester United following that Jermain Defoe-inspired win.

"That would be some achievement," Paul says, "and I don't think too many clubs could say that, but it's a long way off because it is going to be an incredibly tough game.

"Arsenal have been superb lately as well, but if you finish above Manchester United you have a very good chance to win the league.

"It said something that after we beat them they won 12 of their next 13 games. We obviously caught them on a slight off day and I'm sure they will want to repay us for that."