Squad For Preston

West Ham have taken an 18 man squad to Preston North End for the opening day of the season, with three key injuries concerning Glenn Roeder.

Michael Carrick, who had a groin injury over the summer, Steve Lomas, and Ian Pearce - though he is suspended anyway - are unavailable.

"I was hoping to have Michael on the bench but we will not bring him back until he is 100% fit," says Glenn.

And he rejects assertions that playing in the first division will mean being up against 'kick and rush' merchants every week.

"I saw the majority of first division teams last year when I was scouting and I have seen some this pre-season, and most play football rather than this horrible route one stuff - Nottingham Forest, who I have seen pre-season, are a good example."

Understandably, much has been written this week about the departures from Upton Park over the summer, and Glenn Roeder knows he has to bring players in now the financial situation has been stabilised.

"I have to find a number of players as quickly as possible," he says, although, despite reports in some newspapers on Friday, he did not threaten to quit if Jermain Defoe was sold - which, nonetheless, he is not looking to do.

Incomings so far this season are, in order of arrival, David Connolly, Rob Lee, Matthew Etherington, and Neil Mellor.

Joe Cole and Glen Johnson have been sold to Chelsea, Trevor Sinclair to Manchester City, and Fredi Kanoute to Spurs.

Paolo Di Canio, Les Ferdinand, Lee Bowyer, Gary Breen, Nigel Winterburn, John Moncur, Scott Minto, Raimond Van der Gouw, Clive Delaney, and Izzie Iriekpen have all been freed, while Edouard Cisse's year long loan spell ended.

That said, Les, Lee, and Clive only came in the January transfer window - as did Rufus Brevett who is still at the club despite overtures from Portsmouth - and Clive, as well as Izzie and Raimond van der Gouw, have never featured at all in the first team.

David Noble signed from Arsenal during last season and is looking for a debut this campaign, while Anton Ferdinand, Elliott Ward, and Daryl McMahon have risen through the ranks to be given squad numbers this term.

In addition, Youssef Sofiane, of whom Glenn had high hopes when he joined last summer and would, but for injuries, have been given a competitive debut last season, is now over the problems which hampered his progress last season.

In the absence of club captain Steve Lomas, Christian Dailly is captain at Preston.

Squad: James, Bywater, Forde, Brevett, Ferdinand, Repka, Dailly, Byrne, Connolly, Lee, Hutchison, Sofiane, Garcia, Noble, Etherington, Defoe, McMahon, Mellor.