A Stronger Squad

Glenn Roeder is happy that the current strength in depth at West Ham is a step in the right direction.

"That is a facility we have not had previously," says Glenn. "Last year three out of five players on the bench were young, inexperienced ones that weren't ready for first team action and in a position to change the game if we wanted to," he says.

Ironically, Tuesday's Worthington Cup marathon against Chesterfield was the first time Glenn has not used a substitute this season, but he adds: "Quite often last season we would end up with only Paul Kitson or John Moncur who you felt comfortable about definitely putting on because they had the necessary quality and experience.

"Edouard Cisse coming to the club gives us more strength and so too, I have got to say, is Titi Camara.

"At this particular time he has not been fitter than since he joined us from Liverpool and he has not been so motivated.

"He is really onside, doing everything he can to be involved.

"I didn't think he helped himself last year but he has met us halfway this year and has come across to our way of thinking.

"He has worked very hard to get into the state he is in at the moment in terms of fitness and mentally he is motivated, which you have got to be."

Glenn also has words of praise for another of his strikers, Jermain Defoe, who has scored two goals in his last two appearances and will be hoping to continue on the goal trail against Birmingham City on Saturday

The Hammers boss believes that Jermain can more than compensate for the absence of Fredi Kanoute as he leads the line against Steve Bruce's men alongside Paolo Di Canio, and insists: "It is just about how quickly we can get Fredi fit; but Jermain and Paolo were excellent against Chelsea.

"What we lose out on physical presence we make up for on technical ability.

"Jermain is a small striker but he is always on the move and looking to get behind the defence, coming off his man to make sure he has some space to work in when he gets the ball to his feet.

"He is an elusive player that a defender can't plant and if we give him the right service he will score."

Looking to the weekend action, he says: "It is a tough game, for sure. They are full of drive and energy - their players are highly motivated, you can see their players are enjoying being in the Premiership - and they are going to fight to stay there.

"We want to bring back the sort of performance we put on at Chelsea last week.

"We definitely need to put a terrific run together now, we really do - a good, long, unbeaten run."