Trevor Optimistic

Trevor Brooking is optimistic that West Ham can get their season up and running against Manchester City on Saturday.

After a disappointing start to the campaign which echoes that of the previous two years, he recalls: "I can remember a little flurry last season when we won our first game and then won three on the trot, so perhaps we just need that kickstart to the season.

"The spirit is good and that is important, we showed character to come from behind twice at Spurs, and we mustn't panic.

"Glenn is very conscientious and the preparation has been good. It is important to stay positive and try to make sure individuals do focus and concentrate, not making those lapses which are so costly.

"Although Spurs was tight and we were a bit unlucky, we still conceded three goals and, if you are to be really critical, they are lapses.

"Even the last goal, when it took a wicked deflection off Gary Breen to get the winner, was a case of Gardner having run 70 yards before a challenge.

"I think most of us felt someone should have closed him down well before that, and it would have been far enough out not to matter - but it is easy to sit there now and say that.

"But week in and week out you can't keep making those little lapses because we have conceded seven goals in two away games; we know we conceded a lot away last year and we need individuals to cut down those mistakes.

"It is important for the fans to get behind the players but as we all know there are big wages nowadays and expectancy levels are high, so you have to earn that support with a good display and a good result."

Looking at the opposition, Trevor says: "It is not going to be easy. I saw Manchester City play exceptionally well at Arsenal and I thought that for the first 45 minutes they were the better side, although they went in 2-1 down.

"Anelka was electrifying with his pace, which is something our defence is going to have to be conscious of - you have to be wary of that.

"Eyal Berkovic coming back will want to play well - him and Bernabia are very inventive with good movement off the ball and they have two good wing backs in Wright-Phillips aand Jensen.

"If there is a weakness, it is defensively where they are a little bit flat - and West Ham have to capitalise from that end.

"But from the attacking point of view City will stretch you if you don't concentrate.

"Psychologically it will be important to try and get our noses in front on Saturday, and not go behind as we did against West Brom and Charlton, because the crowd gets edgy.

"You can imagine the City team talk will be 'stop them scoring in the first 20 minutes, get a goal, and they will become all agitated'.

"So it is up to us to get in front and get a good confidence-boosting win to use that as a platform."