Glenn: Options Are There

Glenn Roeder says there is such genuine competition in areas of the squad, that he will not be afraid to make changes when he feels they are necessary.

Although it has been well documented that he would have liked to have signed a striker before the transfer window closed, he feels that elsewhere he has got options which, after the defeats by Charlton and Newcastle, he is duty-bound to consider.

"If you look at our midfield players you can see the quality they can bring," he says.

"Trevor Sinclair, Joe Cole, Michael Carrick, Steve Lomas and Don Hutchison when he is fit - that is five excellent midfield players from whom we are going to be choosing four most times.

"If you throw in the experience of John Moncur, Edouard Cisse, and Brent Rahim, that is real competition for places, which is what it is all about.

"We now have that in the centre back role with Tomas Repka, Christian Dailly, Ian Pearce, and Gary Breen - who has not come here to sit on the bench.

"He wants to play in the team and he will be fighting hard to get his opportunity. When he does, I am sure he will be hard to shift.

"Christian and Tomas will be very motivated to keep their shirts, while Ian Pearce has been looking really sharp after his first pre-season for a long time. He is fighting really hard to be in the starting line up.

"We have got decent cover at right back now. Schemmel had a slow start to last season but he got progressively better throughout, ended up being Hammer of the year, and now knows he has got competition from Ian Pearce and Gary Breen.

"I have seen Gary play right back for Coventry and be their best player on the day from that position."

Glenn knows, though, that to sustain an acceptable level of competition within the squad there must be an element of fortune as well.

"Gradually we have moved out a couple of players and brought a few in that just, I think, makes us that little bit stronger as a squad," he says.

"But we still need to be ever so lucky with injuries, even though we have made progress in terms of strength in depth, and to this end we do take as much care of the players as we can."