Beattie's A Threat

Glenn Roeder says that he was aware of James Beattie's capabilities when he was a youngster - but insists Southampton are far from being a one man team.

"James Beattie is having a magnificent season and I am not surprised that he has blossomed into the sort of goal scoring striker that he has," says Glenn.

"I first came across him when I worked up at Burnley for a season, he was a young Blackburn first year professional, and I remember seeing him play in an U19 game.

"He was a very strong front runner, raw with edges to come off, which has now happened, and he has become an excellent striker.

"And Wayne Bridge has become one of the best left backs in the country over the last three or four years; he had a fantastic game for England the other night."

Of the theory that the Saints will be having half an eye on the FA Cup semi final against one of Glenn's old clubs, Watford, on Saturday he says:

"I don't really subscribe to that; once the game kicks off they will have full concentration on the game against us but admittedly, certainly before the game, some of their players will be very aware they are in a semi-final.

"They don't need us to tell them it is one week away, but I am sure Gordon Strachan will have them in the right frame of mind and be telling them they are playing for their places.

"Southampton are having their best season for quite a few now but they have had three or four managers in fairly quick succession.

"But going back to Graeme Sounness, Dave Jones, Glen Hoddle, they have done well with the team they have had to work with.

"There is no doubt the squad they have this year is probably playing better than over the last couple of seasons, and Gordon and his team must take credit for that.

"It is not very often you get an opportunity to play in a cup final and I am sure they will be confident of beating Watford."

Glenn is looking for revenge for the home reversal in December, and he recalls:

"I don't think any team dominates a game for 90 minutes and we certainly didn't but we were very good in the opening 45 minutes in which we could have had the game won.

"We missed a great opportunity that night to get our first home win; Ian Pearce played as a striker and gave 100% as always but had chances that could have put us a couple of goals to the good by half time.

"As it was, in the second half I still felt we were the better team but we couldn't get the breakthrough and, as things were going at that particular time in the season, sure enough, well into injury time they broke away down our left, the cross came in and James Beattie knocked it in with the last kick of the game.

"It was a hugely disappointing night and a galling when you consider how the game had panned out and the chances we had created.

"We need the same sort of performance now, especially in the opening period - and if we make some chances now hopefully we will take them."

Who is in the starting line up to take those chances remains to be seen, with both Les Ferdinand and Fredi Kanoute battling for a place alongside Jermain Defoe.

They played a half each in the last game, and Glenn says:

"It worked so well against Sunderland; I didn't think Les would have to come off at half time after an excellent first half in which he provided Jermain's goal.

"We couldn't have got that kind of goal without Les Ferdinand, and then we were fortunate enough to have Fredi Kanoute on the bench come on - and have a storming 45 minutes.

"When Fredi is in that sort of form he is very, very hard to play against."

Paolo Di Canio is also waiting in the wings, and Glenn adds:

"Paolo is fully fit and has trained really well for the last two weeks but having said that he never does train poorly - he is one player that enjoys his training and always trains well.

"As always he has shown that undoubted quality that we all know he has and it is good to have Paolo 100% fit.

"I watch him train, he is waiting for his opportunity to play again, and I am sure he really wants to play."

Bolton play Manchester City at noon on Saturday, but Glenn insists:

"We can only affect our results, and our results have been decent; we could have been helped with some of the other results, but it hasn't panned out that way and there is no point in worrying about things you can't affect.

"We can only affect our own performances and results and that is all we will continue to do, and somewhere along the line perhaps we will get some help elsewhere."

Glenn is hoping the momentum of another two week break can be picked up, and he concludes:

"It is part of the job and no one has got an advantage over anyone else because we have all had to wait two weeks for the next game.

"Some managers obviously had more concerns than others with getting international players back safely and we have had our fair share of players away."