Richard Remains Patient

Richard Garcia says his chances of getting in the first team are slim while West Ham are at the wrong end of the table - and that he understands Glenn Roeder's reasoning behind not playing him at the moment.

Richard, who has made one substitute appearance this season, against Oldham Athletic in the Worthington Cup, is not complaining about not playing at the moment, although he would like to be in action as soon as possible.

"That would definitely be nice. I keep training with the first team and being with the squad or on the bench so hopefully I will get a chance," he says.

"I think everyone wants to be involved, the players are starting to get back into form, and hopefully things will start to go our way Monday.

"Villa would not have been the best circumstances to come on, although you want to whenever the chance is available.

"But the gaffer has got to be sensible about the time he puts me on and I don't think he wants to do that when times are hard. I think he wants to do it when things are going well.

"I think he is doing the right thing by me and I can't fault him for that so we will wait and see how things go."

Richard was as frustrated as the rest of the bench at Villa Park last weekend, but insists: "I thought the boys played really well and the crowd saw that as well.

"We missed a few chances that could have changed the game, but in football if you don't take chances you don't win matches."

With Edouard Cisse suspended on Monday and Steve Lomas still struggling with his ankle, some observers have wondered if Richard's name would be thrown into the hat against Southampton, but for the reasons Richard gives, that may not be the first option.

As he says, he is not complaining, and he points out that there are other options available.

"Fredi has returned after playing well in the reserve game the other night and it is good to have him back.

"We have missed his presence up front, but it looked encouraging against Villa so it is just about finding a performance."

If Fredi returns to the starting line up, it could free Paolo Di Canio up for a midfield role, and, of course, there is Don Hutchison to consider as well.

"He has been a long time out and he really put in a performance on Tuesday as he wanted to get through a game without any problems - which he did, so it is good news," says Richard, who played alongside him in the reserves' draw with Coventry that marked Don's second full game back.

So it looks as if Richard will have to continue being patient for the time being, and he adds: "Like most of the young guys I am just biding my time and trying to put a few good performances in for the reserves.

"It would be nice to see the boys move up the table to make things easier for me. The higher up in the table we are the more chance I have got of playing - the boys have got it in them so that won't be a problem."

Meanwhile, Richard will try and force his way into the full Australia set up before the England v Australia game at Upton Park in February, and he says: "We will see how things go, but there are a lot of good Aussie players out there all over Europe, so whether he gives me a chance or not is doubtful - but just being in the squad would be nice."

The FA have been assured that the game, on Wednesday, February 12th, will still go ahead despite the recent resignations of several Australian football officials.