Trevor Keeping Calm

Trevor Brooking insists he kept calm during West Ham's win at Maine Road in his first game as caretaker manager on Sunday - while admitting he did go for 'a bit of a wander' on the day.

Trevor turned up on the pitch at one point - although play had stopped at the time - and also encroached the opposition's technical area on a couple of occasions.

However, perhaps on account of a certain reverence for a football legend, the fourth official, one M.L. Dean, appeared to be too overawed to say anything at the time.

Says Trevor:

"I must say, you end up feeling better for having a little pace about, and of course not quite getting the logistics of it I wandered into their technical area a couple of times.

"But the fourth official was very good and it was like he was guiding an apprentice through it."

Trevor opted for the collar and tie for his managerial debut in the end, and adds:

"In the morning when it was pouring with rain in Manchester the track suit was looking more and more likely.

"As it turned out it was a milder afternoon and rather than get too sticky, wrapped up in a track suit, the suit was fine!"

And so to the serious stuff - notwithstanding one tabloid calling this site 'humourless' and then trying to back up the claim with a comment from Joe Cole taken from the very same! - Trevor, who agrees with this reporter's view that he did not lose his rag, even if he did nearly lose his voice, explains of the injuries:

"Les looked the worst but the X-ray has not revealed any crack or break or anything, so he was in on Monday, badly bruised and with a couple of cuts and so forth.

"But quite frankly I have not ruled him out for this weekend so we will see how he progresses - and we know the sort of lad he is; we will make a decision on him very late."

Joe said here on Monday, on top of calling Trevor Brooking a 'legend only behind Bobby Moore in the club's history', that he was doubtful for Saturday, but Trevor remains typically optimistic about his chances.

"Joe got two knocks on the same leg, he has been getting treatment, and he has got a chance for the weekend," he says.

And he also feels that Steve Lomas could get through the last two games before the season ends, despite reports of him needing an operation sooner rather than later.

"Steve Lomas is in the same boat, with a problem in his ankle that he has had, and he will probably need some sort of work - but if it can be delayed until the summer then that will be the case," says Trevor.

The midfield is looking potentially depleted, however, and both Michael Carrick and Lee Bowyer are unavailable against Chelsea.

"Michael, sadly, is not available this season," says Trevor, "while Lee has been out for the last couple of weeks, and progress is slow with him, so he is only an outside chance."

On top of that, Trevor is keeping his fingers crossed that Christian Dailly, Don Hutchison, and Gary Breen all come through international duty unscathed this midweek.

Christian and Don have every chance of starting against Chelsea if they do, while Gary Breen's experience could also be called for - particularly if Ian Pearce's appeal [backed by the club] against his sending off at Bolton is unsuccessful.

Adds Trevor:

"Pearcey got a couple of knocks but is suspended unless the appeal works, Christian and Don are away with Scotland, and Gary Breen is away with the Republic of Ireland - so we keep our fingers crossed that they return on Thursday available for selection.

"There was a bit of confusion about what Ian went off for; was it the tackle or the hands raised afterwards?

"And it depends as to whether a red card or a yellow card was warranted as such - so on that basis we are getting clarification, looking at the video, and taking it from there.

"One way or the other it will be sorted before the end of the week, so it is not delaying the decision; we just want to see whether a yellow would have been sufficient."

As for Don Hutchison's performance when he replaced the injured Les Ferdinand to play most of the second half at Maine Road, thus making it his longest contribution since returning from injury, Trevor says:

"I thought Don did very well, as did Fredi; we went a little bolder with him coming on alongside Les and Jermain and that went quite well with for about seven or eight minutes.

"But to be fair, when Don came on he gave us that little bit of patience and constructiveness that we have missed since Michael missed the last five.

"Michael is the most controlled of our passers and in the first half, in particular, we gave away a couple of balls which we shouldn't have done.

"When Don came on, the fact that he had options further forward meant that he linked the play quite well then."

But Trevor was happy with all the performances, and adds:

"Wherever you looked everyone was contributing in different ways - it is a pat on the back for the players."

* Paolo Di Canio returned to training on Monday after being off last week with a gastric problem.