Glenn: No Regrets

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Glenn Roeder says his decision not to enter the InterToto Cup this summer, as Fulham did, is not something he regrets.

While some observers point to the fact that Fulham, who won the competition to secure a place in the UEFA Cup, are doing well in the Premiership while the Hammers, who qualified to enter but turned it down this year, are not - and that the effects of Fulham returning earlier for European action could be a factor in this - Glenn insists: "I don't think it as cut and dried as that, but they are certainly in a stronger position.

"I don't think they had too many players away at the World Cup that would have hindered their preparations for an early start.

"We had three away and we could have not included any of them, but even though there is now a little more strength in depth we are short, in the numbers game, to the tune of two, three, or even four players.

"But we knew that - and that is why we didn't get ourselves involved bringing the players back in the middle of June and breaking any of them down because you have to rush them up to speed.

"Fulham took the opportunity and it has gone smoothly for them; they have a decent sized squad and they have got away with it."

To prove his theory, he adds: "It is always easy to highlight the successes - but you have to say that Aston Villa were in the InterToto as well and it hasn't gone the same way for them.

"I don't know why and I am not the person to ask - but the InterToto does not guarantee you a good start.

"All I know is, Fulham have started well and are playing with an awful lot of confidence - like they should be - and had a terrific result against Manchester United on Saturday.

"It will be a hell of a game of football, but that is what it will be, a game of footall. They don't know anything other than to get the ball down and pass, which is also the way we like to play football.

"Hopefully it will be an entertaining game, but one we get something out of because this is our game in hand and it is important to take something away from it before Sunday's game against Everton at home."

Glenn is hoping that Trevor Sinclair will now go on a goalscoring run after his strike at the Stadium of Light on Saturday, and adds: "Trevor is on a high with his baby Sky being born and normally, with Trevor, when he scores a spectacular goal like he did on Saturday there are a few that follow quickly - so I hope there is one of those on Wednesday."

Glenn says that Paolo Di Canio should get as much credit as Trevor for the goal at Sunderland, though, and insists: "People mustn't forget the part that Paolo played in the goal.

"It was suggested to me, absurdly, that he just hooked that ball away not knowing that Trevor was out there - which is absolute nonsense.

"I don't think Paolo has hooked a ball in his life not knowing where it is going - that is not in his mentality as a footballer.

"If you look at it carefully when he receives the ball, he looks up quickly, and that is all he needs.

"It is one of his many qualities - that in 1/100th of a second of looking up and seeing a situation, and more importantly assessing a situation, he has then got a feel in his feet to hit the most perfect pass over 50 yards that just took the left back, Michael Gray, out of the game.

"There is no blame to be laid at Gray's feet, though you could say he was in too tight to the centre back, but from a coaching point of view he was in a good position - and it was only the brilliance of the pass that could take him out.

"There are not too many players that could have hit such a spot-on pass to sail over Gray's head.

"And Trevor was on to it without breaking stride; the important thing was he then had a careful touch to steady himself and bang!

"He has hit the shot under the underside of the crossbar and down the back of the net in spectacular fashion."

Glenn does not go as far as saying Trevor and Paolo have a 'supernatural' connection on the pitch, but he does say: "I am not sure if I subscribe to calling it telepathy but there is an understanding - Paolo knew that Trevor would be out in that sort of position but he had to have a look first, and he has seen it and delivered.

"In that one split second the brilliance has given us the chance to score a goal - but there was an awful lot of work to do.

"He has had to murder that shot from the edge of the box - and given the keeper no hope."

After Paolo grabbed the last goal of the month for his strike against Chelsea, it could just be that he has had a hand in the next one.

"I am not saying he will win it, that is not my decision," says Glenn, "but I will be surprised if it is not in the ones they choose for because I can't believe there will be eight or nine better than that scored this month."

There are no surprises in the squad to face Fulham with Fredi Kanoute still out, but Ian Pearce is likely to be fit.

But reports of Sebastien Schemmel returning to action are inaccurate. Although a foot injury ruled him out at the weekend, he has not yet ready to return to first team action, although he is in training.

Squad: James, Van der Gouw, Forde, Repka, Dailly, Winterburn, Breen, Cole, Sinclair, Sofiane, Cisse, Carrick, Minto, Garcia, Di Canio, Lomas, Rahim, Defoe, Pearce, Camara.