Paul: Bad Timing

Paul Goddard admits he would have preferred international week not to have come right now as the Hammers look to continue the momentum of recent weeks.

"It would have been more beneficial for us to keep on going at this stage but that is how it goes and we have to get on with it," he says.

He says the win over Sunderland was vital, adding: "It was a six pointer against Sunderland with them having nothing to lose and having a new manager to play for. There was a lot on the game and I thought we played very well - and deserved to run out with a few more goals."

He was happy that there was plenty of strength in depth, especially up front, and he adds: "It worked out okay. Les was very good in the first half and Fredi did exceptionally well in the second half.

"It is the first time for a long time that there is competition in a number of places. The group that trained on the Friday before the Sunderland game was the strongest we have had all season, and testament now that we have got the squad we need."

There should be even more available against Southampton, and Paul adds: "Lee Bowyer is available after his suspension and Paolo is available as well - he is fine, and accepted the situation at the weekend.

"I just hope that none of the boys on international duty get any knocks."

As for the overall, picture, he concludes: "It is very, very competitive, and going to go the wire.

"People are getting results and some of them are surprising or dramatic.

"It is just up to us to get better results than those around us."