A Tough Year

Paul Goddard acknowledges that 2003 has been a very difficult 12 months for the club - and hopes that 2004 sees West Ham get back into the Premiership.

"It has been a big year; a lot of things have happened at this football club on the pitch and off it," he says.

"There was Glenn's illness and the change in management, and everything - this club has gone through a hell of a lot this year.

"We lost the heart of the club with a lot of players leaving with all the summer dealings and it has been a big turnaround; the new manager is trying to get things going."

Part of that process could be bringing in a new face or two at the turn of the year - and keeping the talent already at the club.

"Let's hope we can do that - and let's hope there are some incomings," he says.

Paul is keeping his fingers crossed that Jermain Defoe's red card at Walsall will be rescinded by the FA's video advisory panel this week and adds:

"If justice is done I think it should be; it is very important we have him in the next five games because you could see how much he was playing - he wants to do well for West Ham United and that is the end of it.

"He loves scoring goals and he loves playing football and why shouldn't he?

"He is just getting on and doing it and letting everything else take its course, I'm sure."

Paul admits his focus is simply on achieving as many points as possible in the second half of the season, and he says:

"I haven't even looked at the league table, and that is honest - certainly after the Ipswich game, all I know is we have got to win a lot of games.

"We have to go away and win and get victories in the home games - we will have to win more than we will lose." Looking at the win over Forest, he adds:

"It was a great win and a great performance - which we needed after the Ipswich game when everyone was really disappointed.

"We showed a lot of character I thought because we had all been down - it was very important to bounce back and it was a super display.

"But we always wanted that second goal because we have given a few leads away lately and it was a nice feeling when Jermain stuck that second away."