Paul: Memory To Bury

Paul Goddard admits that losing to West Brom at home in the league recently was a "deflating" experience - and insists that Jermain Defoe must learn from what he feels was a harsh sending off on top of his yellow card that day.

"We all have to show a lot of patience and dominance at home and it was an incredibly deflating day when we lost to West Brom.

"In the first 20 minutes we were truly superb then we lost our striker for five games which was a massive blow.

"My view is that there was a little feud going on with Jermain amd Gregan for most of the game and I thought Jermain was very harshly booked for a striker getting out of the way of a lunge.

"There was a lot of animosity and Jermain showed a little bit of a lack of experience with Mr. Gregan showing some experience to use the situation well; it was not a tackle you want to make at that period of time and he ran with speed.

"If you watch it on the replay you see that he was actually very low when he tackled but the referee informed me that he took him out knee high which was evidently not the case if you saw it on the video.

"If there was contact it was minimal and the speed Jermain was running at was fast; it comes down to being an unnecessary tackle in that part of the pitch.

"He has to learn but I think he has been treated incredibly harshly by it and the referee said he would look at it again - I am very disappointed he hasn't come to the conclusion that it was not worthy of a straight red which is what he gave him, and possibly just a yellow card, which would still have got him sent off, but would have affected the number of games he was banned for.

"But we have to get on with it and Jermain has to learn that there are defenders that are going to antagonise him and referees are going to do things against him some weeks, he isn't going to get decisions and he is going to have to show a remarkable amount of calmness because this is hurting him and the club badly.

"I think Gregan's was a professional reaction; he knew the tackle was coming and in my view he managed to kick the ball and get himself out of the way as well and he made the most of it. "But that is neither here nor there - it is probably what anybody would do in that situation.

"He would love to play this weekend but he is not going to and it is a tough game; they have got some good results but I think we will all be determined to eradicate the memory of that game at Upton Park.

"It is pure disbelief when you look back at the video that we were in such pure control of the game with West Brom not causing us any problems at all - and within five minutes they got it back to 3-2 and we were down to 10 men; it was quite incredible because the dominance we had was superb.

"But you have to give them credit, and they showed remarkable resilience on the day which is something they have got as a team and will stand them in good stead this year.

"In the end if you draw games in this league you lose touch and Saturday was vital for a number of reasons; we all needed a win to get that West Brom out of our system."

Paul is confident that the goals will start flowing soon on a regular basis and adds:

"Goals win football matches and we have not been too prolific, although that said we have scored seven in the last two home games, so that is not a bad shout.

"We have been pretty solid defensively and with Brian and Marlon coming in and getting goals and David Connolly eager to get back on the score sheet we have got goals in the side."

Paul backs Alan Pardew's assertion that the signing of Brian Deane does not signal a switch to long ball tactics and adds:

"That has not been the case; the only time I would say we were forced into being a little bit more direct was at Wimbledon when they played a system with one down the middle and two wide and it was just impossible almost to play out from the back at a very small pitch at Milton Keynes and made it go longer.

"We certainly won't be turning into a long ball side, though."

As for the arrival of Marlon Harewood, he adds:

"I was fortunate enough that when Marlon came to my previous club Ipswich as a very young player when I was coaching; it got me a little awareness of him and he has obviously improved greatly since then.

"He has got great assets and you only have to sit down with him for five minutes and you will realise he is a very calm, positive young man who knows where he wants to get in his football career.

"He is working very hard to do that and I am sure he is going to be a very good signing for the amount we paid; time will tell if he proves to be a steal but we feel it was incredibly good money and if the first two games are anything to go by he will prove to be a bargain.

"He was unlucky not to score at Wimbledon when the keeper made a great save and there is a reason why he is joint second goal scorer in the first division - he can only be a big bonus for us.

"What we need is midfield players to start scoring and we need the defenders to start doing it; there is no point sending them up for corners if they don't do something up there and we are working hard to improve ourselves on that front."

The option of 4-3-3 is very much there with Marlon on board although it was used this season prior to that with Trevor Brooking.

"It has been pushed on us a little bit; I wouldn't say it is one of my favourite formations but it has been pushed on us by the tools we have at the time," says Paul.

"When Trevor took over he was the first one to implement the idea and it worked well early doors; it can certainly be a very positive way of playing but on the other hand it can leave you a bit exposed."

Paul knows that competition is there up front and recalls his own frustrations as a striker at the club.

"I got injured in the very first game of the '86 season and unfortunately for me but fortunately for West Ham Tony Cottee and Frank McAvennie got in and scored goals and goals which left me as a watching substitute.

"It is very frustrating - but if you do get strikers who are scoring goals your team will win games."