Trevor: Glad For Glenn

Trevor Brooking says the news that Glenn Roeder is on the mend - albeit that he will need minor surgery - has given everyone at the club a boost.

"The statement from the hospital that Glenn has clarified what his illness has been over the last week, and indicated that he had made significant progress over the last two or three days in particular, is great news," he says.

"The diagnosis is that he will need to have surgery and that will probably be in a week or two, but as a result of that surgery, and recovery and recuperation another few weeks after that, there is a lot of belief that he should make a full recovery - and that is the best news anyone could get.

"There are certain hurdles to overcome but with the progress of the last three days or so, everyone can look forward with much more optimism."

Trevor says the news, while not entirely unexpected, is a relief, adding: "I think we had an idea with the tests last week as such, but naturally the family wanted to go through all that because you wanted to check what the actual outcome could be after the surgery.

"After all the tests and explanations of what they believe they are going to be able to do, the outcome is a very encouraging one.

"The actual suggestion is that in a two or three month period Glenn should start to feel much, much better.

"To be fair, we ourselves only know what the statement says because it is still strictly family access; that has been in conjunction with the medical people, Glenn, and the family."

With the hope that Glenn can return to work eventually, Trevor explains: "If everything goes as everyone hopes that seems to be the suggestion; perhaps on the time span we will wait and see but I genuinely believe if the medical people have given it the OK they must hope that is the case."

Of course, plans for the interim period need to be made, and Trevor says: "First of all we have got to get the two games out of the way and at some stage the club have hopefully got to try and sit down with Glenn, the family, and so forth - and talk through with him about the summer before he has the surgery.

"Once he has that, the recovery period from that would make it difficult to have that regular access to make decisions about contracts, players, and things like that.

"It is a difficult situation but hopefully if Glenn improves so much between now and the time that surgery is required the club can sit down and try and plan out what should happen in the summer.

"I think after the last seven or eight days a bit of time is needed just to prepare for the surgery - and of course, the priority is to get that done so the recovery period starts quicker.

"Again, it is one of those areas where, once the opportunity arises to talk to Glenn and the family, more will be known, rather than relying on the hospital and statements.

"But when you think about where we were three or four days ago the progress has been immense - and it is terrific that we are talking in the manner that we are."

There is a real mood of 'closed ranks' amongst the players, particularly in the light of what they see as hypocrisy in the sense that Glenn's critics are now bending over backwards, to coin a not very elegant phrase, to overturn previous comments on account of his serious illness.

One such example is the newspaper columnist who wrote that he may sound like, to use his own words, "a typically two-faced media hypocrite" in wishing Glenn all the best given, by his free admission, that he had been one of his harshest critics all season.

He went on to say that there is a difference between criticism of professional performance and criticism of a personal nature, implying that the latter is unjustified.

Glenn has always concurred with that theory, never complaining - as some managers do - about comments based on the results of his endeavours.

The columnist that wrote that there "is all the difference in the world" between the two areas, however, wrote disparaging, hurtful, and unwarranted comments earlier in the season about Glenn's facial characteristics!

None of which, however, is distracting the players' preparations for Saturday, buoyed as they are by Glenn's recovery continuing apace.

"It has kept the smiles on the boys' faces," says Trevor, "after three or four pretty tortuous days last week going into the weekend, getting the lift with the performance of the lads, and then coming out of that with the news on Glenn.

"It has given everyone a huge boost midweek and Glenn will want everyone to start thinking about the weekend."

Trevor now wants the players to look forward and concludes: "At the moment we have got to forget Manchester City and try to get that optimism a little bit higher with a win against Chelsea - which is going to be tough with their Champions' League situation.

"I am sure Upton Park will be a special place on Saturday."