Paul's Tribute

Paul Goddard insists no one could have been more diligent than Glenn Roeder as manager of West Ham.

While others, including Iain Dowie and Steve Cotterill, have publicly declared an interest in taking over, Paul, understandably, is maintaining on a dignified silence on that subject, preferring instead to pay tribute to the man that brought him to the club from the youth set-up at Ipswich when he took over from Harry Redknapp.

"No one has worked harder at this football club than Glenn - he is a good person and his courage in coming back after the illness he suffered goes without saying."

Glenn himself spoke late last week about the pressures of the job, combining working with the existing players and trying to bring new ones in to patch up a small squad.

"When I am not out there training with the boys I am spending my whole life on the telephone," he said.

"The players I am trying to bring in means that you have to chip away to convince managers that a move, either permanent or on loan, would be good for the player I am trying to get.

"The managers that I am speaking to are trying to help as much as they can; I haven't found one that is not wanting to help.

"But the nature of this business also means you have to protect your own back and I fully understand that.

"Most managers will help us if they can which is good to know but you have to keep on the phone and asking the question."

One might argue that, just as last season saw the introduction of a near season-long transfer window, meaning that Paolo Di Canio and Fredi Kanoute couldn't be replaced when they got injured, so too this year's rule change, allowing Premiership clubs to loan players out to each other, also scuppered Glenn's plans.

One example of that was the move of Jermaine Pennant to Leeds on a two month arrangement from Arsenal, and Glenn has also admitted:

"I understand that Leeds were not the only Premiership club that wanted Jermaine Pennant.

"I can understand him wanting to stay in the Premiership and that made any approach from us difficult, and we had to accept that."

Speaking in the immediate aftermath of Saturday's game against Rotherham, and the dressing room row, Paul insists:

"There is nothing to be made of it; it is a small area and it just made sense to get half changed at the hotel.

"We always planned to do it; it was not a problem with no 'snub' intended.

"Squads nowadays, with the medical people you carry, need a little bit of room, but we knew what it was going to be like and we prepared.

"The pitch was fine, there was a bit of a slope, but there are no excuses there.

"We were very disappointed in the first half performance which was certainly the worst performance given this preseason or during it - it was dreadful.

"We knew what we were going to be facing and we just didn't compete enough to face that.

"The goal was a free throw, a free ball in, and a free shot to fly into the corner so far too many things went wrong there.

"There was a slight change of personnel as it needed fresh impetus; things were better in the second half without being super by any means.

"But we created three or four chances in the second half, their keeper made some very good saves and a couple of times we were a bit unlucky."

In the second half Michael Carrick and Richard Garcia came on, with, amongst other things, Tomas Repka going to right back, and Paul says:

"Michael coming on was a big bonus for us; he still needs matches obviously but he helped freshen it up.

"Tomas looked uncomfortable as a left back whereas the week before at right back against Sheffield United he had a very competent game.

"He had had a chat with Glenn and said he had played there before and was prepared to give it a go, but it didn't really work.

"There isn't another left back and there are things that needs to be resolved.

"You can't sell five of your main side and let go 11 players as we did without there being massive gaps - but it is very difficult to get the right kind of people to fill those gaps."

On Matthew Kilgallon, signed on loan last week from Leeds on a three month loan - Glenn's last transfer move - Paul comments:

"He is a young lad with hopefully a lot of promise; it is a position where we needed cover."

And as for Neil Mellor, Paul says:

"He gives another dimension we need; he has shown he is going to be a useful asset and he will be a good player for us."

After the first home league game of the season ending 0-0, the warning is that Bradford may employ similar stifling tactics, and Paul says:

"Teams are going to come to Upton Park and try and block it up."