Trevor: Open Mind

Trevor Brooking says that he has an "open mind" about the possible involvement of Paolo Di Canio for the rest of the season - but insists the team is the most important thing.

Trevor is keen to stress that the squad ethic, maintained over the recent good run, must continue, and explains:

"I have got an open mind; at the moment Paolo is off sick and he has been this week.

"He has not been able to come to the training ground since he was at the match on Monday - so obviously I will try and clarify that with Paolo.

"He is a talented player and if he is fit and available we will have a look at the situation - but at the moment he is unwell; I will speak to him and see how he is but up to now that hasn't happened."

There are other worries, too, and Trevor adds:

"We have two or three injuries anyway, the likes of Lee Bowyer, Michael Carrick, and Fredi had a knock at the weekend so we will assess those.

"But I thought the side, in a difficult situation on Monday, having just lost a couple of days earlier against Bolton, reacted well.

"It took a long time to get the goal but there was a lot of commitment and spirit to get the late winner which was so crucial."

Despite the gossip, Trevor will pick the team to face Manchester City on Sunday, and Trevor explains:

"The squad will be pretty similar to that which got the three points on Monday."

Trevor knows that any changes he makes will be subject to the utmost scrutiny, but adds:

"Glenn would say that he doesn't care about how the three points were accumulated as long as we we get the win.

"We have three massive games to come and if we get the wins I am not too bothered how it happens."

And he rejects the charge that he is too 'nice' to be a manager in the heat of a Premiership survival battle, explaining:

"I am pretty laid back and placid as such - but like any player will tell you, you have got your aggression if needed.

"And you can sometimes make an impact more when it doesn't happen every five minutes.

"I have had my ups and downs in dressing rooms, as everyone has, but you keep it private - and if there is a time and a place for it, it will happen.

"But let us hope we get off to the 'start' we all want."

Meanwhile, Paolo has been quoted as saying:

"Trying to blame players is nothing short of a disgrace; everyone at the club has to take responsibility for our results this season.

"I think the press have been on Glenn's back for the last six months and they are the ones who have created added pressure - the most important thing at the moment is that Glenn gets better as quickly as possible and I hope the team can do something special to stay up for him.

"I made a conscious decision to remain quiet recently because everything I said was getting misrepresented, but I'd like now to take this opportunity to express my sadness at the present situation and to wish my manager the best of luck in his recovery from illness.

"We may have had our differences on the pitch but Glenn is a good man and my thoughts are with him and his family."

Another veteran, Les Ferdinand, says:

"Trevor said he doesn't believe that if he was in our situation he would need anyone to motivate him - and is perfectly right.

"He may not have managed before but at this stage of the season, and in the situation we are in, I don't think you need a tough manager to come and tell you what to do - we know what the task is and that is to win our last three games.

"Trevor knows what goes on; here - he is in the dressing room at every home game, he travels with us to every away match and he's always at the training ground, so it's just business as usual.

"It won't be odd to see him around the place because Trevor is always there if we need somebody to go and talk to who has been there and had the experience."