Paolo's Pledge

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Paolo Di Canio believes the new season will begin in earnest for West Ham on Saturday - and is calling on the fans to help him and his team mates to victory.

"We don't have to be depressed because if we do that we won't react - we need everything, but not to be depressed," he insists. "We have to start winning at home against Manchester City otherwise we are in trouble because of the gap.

"We can't look at other clubs like Bolton and Charlton, who are losing at home, before we look at ourselves.

"We have to first of all win, and look at our potential, rather than look at what is happening there.

"We have to forget our position, forget the last five games and think that the season starts on Saturday - even if it was five games ago.

"There is a five points gap from five or six clubs; if we start with this mentality without thinking we are bottom.

"We are starting on one point and the others are starting on five or six, but in 33 games we can recover six points because we are better than many other clubs.

"We have the same team as last year, and last season we finished 12 or 13 points from third bottom.

"Maybe you might think it is silly to think like that but I don't; if we realise that our season starts on Saturday, and re-set everything, we have one point and the other teams have four points more.

"We have 33 games to recover four points; can we do it? I think we can do much better than this.

"Although we have to forget the last five games we have to try and learn from them and not repeat the same mistakes - but we don't have to have fear and think we may lose every game.

"We will learn from what has happened in the previous games apart from the 70 minutes against Arsenal and 88 minutes against Spurs.

"We have a good squad, good technical players, and we can get there."

Paolo says the fans will be behind the team on Saturday and adds: "I believe that the supporters will be with us because they know how important it is to stay as a unit. Every time in our crucial moments they have been very close to us, and they are intelligent - I can't imagine them coming and booing us at the beginning otherwise it doesn't work.

"If we are relegated they are relegated, so I think the supporters will stay with us as usual, and I am sure we can pay back to them all the love they give to us, like they did on Sunday."

He was as frustrated as the fans on Sunday to come away with nothing and adds: "I am sorry for them because I think for 88 minutes they felt proud of us, even if one point doesn't change your life.

"But in the way it came, away, to our strong rivals in a London derby - which is always a hard game - unfortunately in the last minute, we gave the opposition a solution again.

"I think through this situation the happiness can come out. Maybe that is a romantic idea but I believe it.

"We can see the sun after the tornado and the good weather is coming.

"Our luck was very bad on Sunday and once again we conceded a very bad goal at the end - but we played a very good game, I think.

"Maybe the draw doesn't change your life but in the way it came, dominating for half an hour and playing with ten men meant we deserved something.

"They had three chances with the penalty and the two goals whereas we had at least six clear chances and should have won the game.

"At the end we lost the game with a bad goal; it was a deflection but we let a centre back run 40 yards with the ball without closing him down.

"Now we have to stay a unit and even the players that don't play from the beginning but come on as a sub have to work their socks off.

"Sometimes when we think that if we don't play well from the beginning of the game it is difficult; but it is not true because we are 20 players and at any second we can be called by the manager so we have to play as if it is the last game of our life.

"Unfortunately in the last year and a half it didn't happen in this club and I hope it can change very soon, otherwise we are in trouble.

"This is a shame for us because after a good game like that it definitely puts you down for one day, definitely.

"You can understand we are sad because of the way we played for 88 minutes. I am proud anyway because even with 10 men we created two clear chances before the scrappy goal at the end - that is what is made me and the others in the dressing room angry.

"When you leave the field at 2-2 you hope that we will get the result at the end - and when you see there is a problem you can't come back on the pitch, you feel without power."