Glenn: Perspiration Over Inspiration

Glenn Roeder says Joe Cole is going to have to get used to sacrificing flair for grinding out results - even if it leaves him breathless by the end of the game.

That is just what he had to do at Sunderland on Saturday, and Glenn explains:

"Joe sometimes gets disappointed where it is not a game where he can get the ball down and play more football; but I said I was delighted with what he brought to the team there with his defending.

"It was a good away performance; he had lots of energy doing the running and a lot of tracking back.

"It meant he found himself in deeper positions than he likes to be but he has to accept that he sometimes has to forego that wonderful creative ability - and play his part in the team game as he did on Saturday.

"He was a little disappointed but I wasn't - it was a sound job and an important job and if he hadn't done it we would have been in trouble down the left hand side.

"We gave away a lot physically but Jermain and Paolo didn't stop running - and that is the way it has got to be.

"Joe is a good tackler, make no mistake about it; it may be part of the game he doesn't really enjoy, but it is a vital part of all midfielders in the world.

"They have to do a lot of tracking back as do Giggs and Beckham, the wide men at Manchester United; at the end of the day, and even more so in the modern game, football is a running game and if you are not prepared to run then you won't play at the top level.

"Only then can you add skill, ability, and technique.

Glenn hopes he can keep things tight at the back and adds:

"We have got to keep clean sheets, or not concede more than one, because the times you score three, like at Chelsea, don't happen very often.

"If we have to play a safe, defensive, game so be it and anything beyond that is a bonus because earlier this season we have been leaving ourselves too much to do.

"I am not looking for clever defensive play; the best defenders rarely look to be clever because that lets you and the team down.

"It was determined defending at Sunderland and there were a couple of excellent blocks from Breen and Repka at Sunderland.

"They were well protected by Lomas and Carrick who made it as difficult for them to make a break through."

Glenn is looking to extend the winning sequence to two for the first time this season and he adds:

"We need to put a run together; football is such an unpredictable game - good luck to Birmingham recently but I was the last person to think we wouldn't get anything from the that game.

"We didn't, so you must never ever assume or take anything for granted in football.

"We are prepared to work hard and do whatever we have to to earn a point or three at Loftus Road."

Looking at the opposition, he says:

"They bought Sava; Marlet was always an excellent acquisition and has really settled in the Premiership now.

"I have a lot of time for Barry Hayles, who is a late developer, and very much a Premiership player now - as he has proved.

"They have good players in all positions and they are a team that has cost a lot of money to put together - money had to be spent when promotion was won and they have done so very well.

Glenn has warned his players not to get carried away with the second away win of the season, and he adds:

"We certainly won't be popping any corks; we are still waiting for the season to take off, but we have a great opportunity to kick start it.

"I have learned very quick in football that everything has to be earned, hard earnt; it was a great win over Chelsea and I thought we would come home and get a win over Birmingham to follow it.

"But we have picked ourselves off the floor, the win at Sunderland was well deserved, but we have got to make sure we don't trip up.

"It is a difficult game and they are on top of their form but after three points we have got to go there and play with a lot of belief and confidence."

Glenn is certainly happy with Ian Pearce's introduction at centre half on Saturday - and the emergence of Christian Dailly as a right back to rival Sebastien Schemmel.

"We had a game plan against Kilbane and Christian looked like he had played right back all life; it is a bench mark and he has got to maintain that, which I think he can.

"He deserved the opportunity.

"Ian did very well and we worked hard on the defensive side - apart from when Phillips got a goal yards offside, which was quite right, and Quinn's dipping volley, I can't remember too much else in terms of goal scoring opportunities for them.

"I have always maintained that when we are to progress, it must be on the basis of sound defending.

"Ian been very patient waiting for an opportunity and though he can fill in at right back centre half is his best position.

"We are looking for a combination that works and I thought it was the right time, what with Seb not being available.

"We had to look at the right back slot couple and had a couple of options; Steve Lomas played at right back for Northern Ireland against Ukraine recently but I kept him in the centre of midfield - his preferred position.

"Where possible I like to have round pegs in round holes and playing right back was right up Christian's street.

"He had a terrific game, by the midfield, and it was a thoroughly professional job from an athletic player.

"I would be the last to say it was a spectacle, but we got the win.."