Glenn: I Appreciated Praise

Glenn Roeder says that he had a long chat with Sir Alex Ferguson and his staff after the game last weekend - and appreciated his public pronouncement that West Ham had played well on the day.

"I think Sir Alex was excellent when he said that although he was unhappy with our goal because he felt it was offside - and to a degree he had a point - he admitted West Ham were worth the draw on the day; that was very honourable of him," he says.

"He had recognised how well we had played and lots of managers don't do that; you do get managers who have a very blinkered view of just their own team and will never give credit to the opposition.

"I have noticed that Sir Alex is not like that; he will contest everything because he is a competitive person who has been a winner all his life, but he is honourable enough to admit West Ham deserved a point, and all credit to him for saying that."

Glenn spent half an hour with his opposite number after the game and adds:

"All our backroom staff and all of theirs came in; he is terrific to listen to - he has so much knowledge and he has a great team around him.

"We had a great chat and it was football talk all the way.

"Not too many managers always make a point of taking you up on the offer of coming to the office after a game, but Alex did last year at Upton Park and whenever we are at Old Trafford we take the invitation up of going to his office.

"What we actually spoke about has to remain private although there was nothing controversial - we didn't talk about our players!

"But it would be wrong to go into detail."

As for the game against Manchester United, he hopes it may prove a significant one, and he adds:

"Let's hope that we have turned the corner and things will go our way; if we keep forcing the issue the way we did against Leeds and Manchester United hopefully we will get the breaks that we deserve.

"I was very happy with the performance, which carried on from where we left off in the second half against Leeds, and, as I said at the time - and no one will change my mind - there were long periods of the first half when we played well, it is just that we committed suicide with our defending.

"We put in the performance that we needed to, and felt we were unfortunate not to get the lead; getting that first goal does make a huge difference because statistically if you score first in the Premiership you don't lose.

"The first goal is critical and we just can't get it, though we thought we had with Joe's excellent header with lots of power from the penalty spot.

"Jermain was there to tuck the rebound off the inside of the post in but you have to admit he was in an offside position - though sometimes I have seen especially home teams get away with that.

"But the linesman was eagle eyed, put up his flag, and it was chalked off.

"There were a few other close shaves where we might have scored, and then we fell behind to a goal that was debatable, to say the least.

"We would say it was a yard offside and Manchester United would say it is a yard onside - but the only thing that counts is that the flag stayed down and the referee gave it.

"It was a very clever finish by van Nistelrooy who is right out of the top drawer - I am so impressed with him, and while he is in the team you always think they are going to score a goal.

"People will say there was no Ferdinand, Beckham, or Keane and they are three massive players but they had plenty of other big names playing.

"Everyone there is a big name, even the young ones like John O' Shea who is one hell of a player, and it was still a strong Manchester United team.

"Had we lost a goal in injury time when David James pulled off a great save from Laurent Blanc and then the follow-up it would have been the cruellest blow of all.

"We did ever so well with our performance and I think it would have been criminal if we had not taken a point."