Paolo's Pledge

Paolo Di Canio insists that any thoughts of a new contract are in the back of his mind as he looks to help West Ham even further up the table.

The scorer of Wednesday's winner is, of course, headline news and he has been - understandably - unhappy with the way he has been dealt with in the media over the years.

But, buoyed by euphoria at Loftus Road, he spoke, unusually, to the press after the win over Fulham on Wednesday, and this is what he said to them - verbatim.

You can judge for yourself if the interpretation of those comments that you may come across in the papers was strictly accurate - or even fair.

Paolo said - on a night when a colleague, incidentally, said he was "too tired" to speak about the win: "We have won two games in a row so we have better confidence; we won many second balls which has not always happened, and now I am looking forward to Sunday.

"As far as penalties go, I change when I think it is the moment to change - but sometimes you can miss.

"But Van der Sar is too clever. I tried to read his mind and I think if I had chipped it I would have looked silly - and we would have drawn the game.

"If I had hit a proper penalty, it wouldn't have been his fault, and it was 1-0, but if I had missed or took the penalty too close to him he could have been happy, so I decided to give some pace to the ball.

"I would like to be in that situation in every game. Sometimes you can miss a penalty but what better chance is there to score and give your club and your supporters and your team a win?

"I was not under pressure from that penalty and I hope it happens every week."

Talking of the injury that appeared in the game, through which he played, he says: "It is an injury that is hard because when you break your leg or you rupture your ligament you know it - but with this it was hard and uncomfortable.

"I went back to Bologna and I got fit again, even though it took two or three games; since Chelsea I think I have shown I am in the form of two or three years ago, so I feel much better.

"After the injury I have more desire because I know I don't have another 10 years - only one or two."

As for his contract situation, he says: "When I had three years to go I played the same football - and it is not because I am waiting.

"If I have two months or six years on my contract it doesn't matter because I love to play football, especially when you see the supporters follow us everywhere.

"It is not about me or my team mates, it is about fighting for the fans.

"My contract is not a problem. I don't want to put the club under pressure, it is only that I am not a player under trial and you know what qualities I have.

"Everyone knows what a player I am - and I have been here three or four years.

"I prove it every single day in training and I think it is fair to say what is happening.

"I have not asked for 1p, £20m, £100 billion, or even how many years I want to stay.

"All I have said is that I want the answer about whether I am in their plans for the future or not.

"People are speaking about whether £30,000 a week is too much, but that is silly because I have not asked for anything.

"It is not about a three year contract, not anything, just about me honestly wanting to know. It is not Man Utd. where you can spend £60m to buy van Nistelrooy or whoever.

"I think it is fair to ask what is happening - and I think I have the chance to move everywhere.

"But everyone knows that I want to stay and I am not asking anything. It is not a problem and it is known what can be done with the club and the supporters.

"If they don't give me the answer it is not the end of the world, but I will take my decision.

"It is normal and not a problem, because if someone else asked what I have from my club it is normal because with seven months to the end of the contract you will look to the future.

"But if I say this is it, is likely that people will say 'Di Canio is making problems, breaking the atmosphere in the dressing room' - but it is not true.

"I think it is reasonable to ask what do they want to do with me in the future, and it is not about 1p, £20m, three years, or one year, it is about 'am I in your plans?' and now we can look to the future and start speaking.

"Or, am I not in the plans and then I can look at my future in general.

"It is a normal thing for every single player.

"Some footballers negotiate a contract even if they have three years left, so it is normal and I don't have to be asked why when I have only seven months to go.

"I will wait and I respect them; they have a plan for the future so I have to go with that.

"Of course I am not in a comfortable position but I show on the pitch that the situation I am in does not drive me in a different way or in a bad position because I still fight for the team and the club because I am a professional.

"If someone is worried about whether I am thinking about a contract, it is not true, because since Chelsea I have shown that I fight everywhere and give my best.

"I played at Sunderland with a fever but it was not the moment to stop and even if I am not in their plans for the future I am still under contract.

"I will give my best because every single month I receive money from that club and I have to thank them for that.

"In every single game I play for the supporters that follow us - so the situation does not disturb me.

"My agents work for me but this is normal and it is not an attack. I still play for West Ham and it is not an incredible thing.

"If something happens to me I am supposed to be a hot-head - and that is not fair, it is normal in football to ask and try to receive an answer."

Paolo rejects the notion that any possible contract negotiations depend on West Ham's status next year and he adds: "They don't have to be worried about that because we won't go down - they only have to answer 'sorry Paolo, we won't speak about that because maybe we are worried.'

"All I am waiting for is an answer because I don't want silence - it is only about respect.

"If they say we can't speak about that now, and there is another opinion then I will wait for something from the chairman and the board.

"But no one has said nothing and it is not a problem. I only have to wait 10 days and all I am thinking about is winning on Sunday and getting us out of the present situation.

"I want us to get into the top 10 and I am not really thinking about contracts."