Glenn Looking For Balance

Glenn Roeder hopes that when the transfer of Spurs winger Matthew Etherington to Upton Park is complete - with Fredi Kanoute going the other way - he can prove to be just the man to give the side balance on the left of midfield.

"It is important to fill the wide left position," says the Hammers boss. "It is very easy to see that we haven't got natural width in the team, and we certainly haven't got enough left sided players, Rufus Brevett being the only left sided player in the squad at the moment.

"So we hope for that balance on the left side, and we were looking for someone who is a good crosser of the ball to make the most of Don Hutchison coming in from the right side and attacking the far post.

"Don is a very good finisher and, if he stays fit this season, he is capable of scoring some very important goals for us.

"I think natural wide players in general are in short supply which is why Steve McClaren and Kevin Keegan were so keen to sign Trevor Sinclair.

"They had had difficulty finding too many options as they are in short supply."

As for the general search for talent, Glenn adds: "It is very hard to find players at sensible prices now that you feel can really help the team. As always I think it is important that when you make a signing it is to put in the first team and let the squad grow that way.

"I don't like the idea of signing players just to put in the squad just to make the numbers up, and really I am the first person that should be saying that because our numbers are so small at the moment.

"Over the next few weeks I hope to be able to increase the numbers we have got by at least five. We have got David Connolly, we have signed Robert Lee, and we are then looking for three players or so - as well as Fredi going and Matthew Etherington coming - for the start the season.

"I will be working hard this week in the run up to the Preston game and hope that we will have one, two, or even three of those faces - even if they are loan players.

"Everyone knows we need to get new faces at the club and I think the players themselves at the club are looking to see new faces every day.

"It freshens everything up with different people coming into the dressing room with different things to say, different ways of doing things - it just puts people on their toes.

"The last thing you want is a small squad with no pressure on places, although this year we are not going to be able to get up to the 20, 21 figure we had last year.

"I am certainly going to be a lot happier when we get the numbers up to 15 or 16.

"We have worked very hard on putting lists of players together for all the positions and I have been promised help from lots of people in the game.

"I am sure when I call on those managers they will help me.

"What we are trying to do is to be as careful as we can that when players come in this year they can do the job that we want and do the job very well.

"If you are going to have a small squad you want to sign characters who are mentally strong people, who are self-motivated.

"If there is not too much pressure on positions in the team you need people who can motivate themselves to play well every week because that's how they are as people."

For the most part, Glenn's search is on these shores, and he adds: "At the moment I myself hadn't had the need to travel but there are so many agents in Europe that bring players to your desk if you want via telephone calls and faxes.

"There are a lot of players in England looking for re-employment but there are even more in Europe.

"But again, you want to be certain on the player's ability and you want to be certain on his character.

"Bringing them in from Europe makes it that much more difficult and the last thing you want is to bring foreign players into your club that turn out to be poor characters and cause you more trouble than they are worth."