Deano's A Diamond

Paul Goddard is full of praise for the contribution that Brian Deane has made since joining the club - but insists he had no doubts about his ability.

While one or two eyebrows may have been raised when Brian joined the Hammers, the player himself has got on with the job with a typically ruthless determination and efficiency - and showed already he can score some class goals.

His strike at West Brom was a case in point and Paul, formerly a striker himself, of course, was full of a connoisseur's appreciation of it.

"It was a great goal by Deano and he showed great experience to be able to bend that one in," he says.

"I think he has an incredibly good record throughout his career; he is enjoying being with us and you can see that we are getting the benefit of what he is good at - and a few goals."

But he asks people not to compare him with Les Ferdinand, who departed in the summer, and adds:

"They are very much different kinds of players; obviously the height factor is one thing and he is just the sort of player we need for this league."

Paul knows Brian could have stayed in the 'comfort zone' at Leicester - just as Les Ferdinand could have at Spurs when he opted instead to go to Upton Park and Paul adds:

"These people earn money but they love playing football; Brian loved being in that hostile arena on Saturday and that is what gives you a buzz - Brian wants to thrive and be in that arena all the time."

Paul admits that West Ham have not had too much luck against West Brom this season and adds:

"That is two games we have had against West Brom and we haven't quite had the run of the ball.

"It also came to a point on Saturday where you couldn't see West Brom scoring.

"There was an incentive to rectify what happened in the home game but also they are top of the league and we are aspiring to get up there.

"It could have been cut to four points; they are a very strong side who are going to be right there until the end."

With five away draws on the trot, Paul knows that if the side starts winning at home things will start looking up.

But he adds:

"We have got to look to win every home game up but we have to pick up the odd away win as well."

Whether the wing back system will be retained on Tuesday against Stoke remains to be seen, but Paul adds:

"We are lacking a few wide players at the moment, especially with Matthew Etherington not being available, so we decided to go that way - and it worked for us on Saturday, really."