Glenn: We Battle On

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Glenn Roeder says he is ready to do battle in the most intense period of the season with the players he has got - and is praying that there are no more injuries this campaign.

With the transfer deadline passing peacefully, Glenn, in common with other managers around the country, is hoping that his players stay fit as the season moves up a gear.

"Thankfully we have got everyone home safely from the internationals except one, Grant McCann, who got a knee injury, which was a disappointment - hopefully he will be out no longer than two weeks," says Glenn.

"We were assessing the damage today, but this is not the time you want to pick up injuries because we are going for the final push and everyone wants to be involved.

"We didn't manage to get anyone in on loan - but I have known for about a week that was going to happen - and no one went out, so it was a quiet day for us, and means the boys that have been with us all year are the ones we are going to go to war with over the next five or six weeks and the eight remaining games.

"Don is obviously out until next season, Grant has his injury which we are hoping is not too bad, and everyone else is raring to go.

"We are keeping everyone fit and trying to pick up as many points as we can as soon as we can to see where we end up."

Glenn was not able to prepare all of his squad together for these two holiday games until Friday, as several players were once more on international duty, and he says:

"That's made it a little bit more difficult, and on top of that the last game seems a long time ago; it is as if we have been waiting forever and there haven't been too many players around, though I have been pleased with the ones who have been and their sessions.

"The Ipswich game is very similar to the Blackburn and Middlesbrough and Everton ones, matches we needed to win at home, and hopefully we can win this game as well to take what would be a massive three points."

Glenn knows the pressure intensifies around the Easter programme, and adds:

"There have been some strange results at the weekend; you get that at this time, and in the month of April - it is the start of a period where anything could happen.

"It was a fantastic win for Bolton at Charlton, a fantastic win for Middlesbrough at Old Trafford, and Everton have had two wins on the trot now, but we have got to keep very focused on what we do, and not be looking around.

"We need to concentrate and keep our eye on the ball, and hopefully have a good end to the season because if you look at it we have got seven games now in four weeks, and it is the busiest time of the season."

West Ham could claim a first double of the season after winning 3-2 at Portman Road earlier in the season - West Ham's first away win.

"It seems a long time ago, a TV game on a Sunday afternoon in which we played particularly well; it was a test of character which we came through with flying colours," he recalls.

"They equalised and Jermain got his first league goal of the season, but Mattie Holland made it 3-2 with a terrific shot; it was an entertaining afternoon and perfect for us because we took the three points, which we will be aiming to do on Saturday."

Glenn is looking for his team to return to the mean defending at home in the league which had seen only seven goals conceded - until the champions came to town.

"It was a very frustrating afternoon against Manchester United because there were a lot of positives; when you look at the build up and execution of our three goals we arguably scored the best three goals of the afternoon," he says.

"But there is no team better than Manchester United than punishing any weaknesses or poor defending, and it was the wrong team to defend poorly against.

"In one game we have hopefully got that out of our system and now we need to tighten up defensively and make sure we play from a solid base tomorrow."