Steve: I'm Doubtful

Steve Lomas admits that he may not be fit for the game with Southampton on Monday - bad news which is exacerbated by the fact that Edouard Cisse serves a one match suspension for that fixture.

Steve, who left the field early in the second half against Leeds recently with ankle damage, admits things are somewhat up in the air, saying: "I don't know as yet, I have seen the surgeon and it might just come a bit quickly for me but we will have to wait and see.

"I have not trained and it is still pretty sore. The club surgeon has indicated I might not be ready and, although I haven't totally ruled myself out, he seems to think it might be a bit close - and he is usually not wrong."

More's the pity, because Steve is desperate to play again and, with Edouard missing because of a ban for collecting five bookings, a reshuffle will be necessary.

Meanwhile, Steve says any suggestion that the players don't care enough about their plight is nonsense.

"I don't think that is the case," he says, "because when you are in this situation it affects your whole life."

"I can only speak for myself - but I am sure it is the same for the other lads.

"Obviously we are easy targets at the moment, because of where we are at, but we have to accept that.

"But in terms of the accusation that we don't care, I can't agree with it."

As for Saturday's defeat at Aston Villa, he says: "We had a few chances to take the lead and we have not been able to go in front in many games to give us something to hold on to.

"But to concede four goals against Villa was obviously disappointing."

He insists that it is not just the rearguard that shoulders the responsibility and adds: "Of course it is errors but it is not just defensively, it is a bit of everything; we are not scoring when we should do either."

The Hammers are only eight points from mid-table and Steve says: "It is not that bad but you have got to pick results up. If you can collect two or three wins on the bounce it gives you a massive boost.

"But it is all right paying lip service to it; you have got to go and do it."