Tony's Delight

Tony Gale is delighted that Glenn Roeder has made significant progress towards recovery in recent days.

"Obviously it is one step at a time, but the fact that he is out of intensive care now is great news for everyone," he says.

"I am sure the lads will get a great lift from that going into the weekend, but I think he will have to take it one step at a time.

"Glenn has got a young family as well and he has to think about them, and his wife Faith who has gone through a lot at the moment.

"Gradually, as he is nursed back to full fitness, it will be a case of how he feels about it, if he wants to come back into it, or not, and what role he has to take - and I am sure that will be fine by everyone, but I think it is his decision with his family, which is most important."

Tony sensed a certain amount of goodwill towards West Ham at Maine Road on Sunday - that Les Ferdinand was applauded by City fans when he was being stretchered off was one such example.

But the real focus, of course, is on Trevor Brooking taking temporary charge from Glenn, and Tony adds: "I have felt it from fans, especially up at Manchester City at the weekend. I am not saying they gave us the result by any stretch of the imagination, but everyone around I think would, if they were going to lose to anyone, have 'chosen' West Ham.

"But I wouldn't expect any favours for Chelsea, mind!"

Tony just hopes that Glenn focuses on his health for the moment, without worrying about the tense run-in to the end of the season.

"If he was listening to me on Sunday it wouldn't have done him much good. I was certainly getting excited, twitching a bit, and coming out with the oohs and aahs - especially when City had a couple of chances at the end to equalise," he says.

As for Trevor Brooking's 'performance', he adds: "It was great watching Trev at the weekend jumping up and down, getting a little bit animated for the first time in about 20 years or so!

"It wasn't the best of games, but it doesn't really matter because it was a really good result.

"But I am a little worried that the two results against Middlesbrough and Manchester City have come against sides that are in a state of not going anywhere.

"Chelsea will be very much different as they still need it to get in the Champions' League so there is a lot on this game - so by no stretch of the imagination should anyone think that because we won the last two we are going to win this one as well. It is going to be a very difficult game.

"I must admit when I was looking at the last three games I was looking at the Chelsea one thinking 'we are not going to have any problems getting up for that one' but the Manchester City and Birmingham games were going to be the more difficult in that sense.

"But the Manchester City one is in the bag and you have got to take it one at a time - and, I tell you what, there are a few other teams that are going to be worrying.

"If we get to 44 points we will be very, very unlucky if we go down."