Glenn: I'll Repay Support

Glenn Roeder reveals that a major motivation in keeping West Ham up this season is to acknowledge the loyalty and support he has had from the boardroom to the fans in a difficult season.

Continuity and loyalty have always been regarded, both from within and without, as being an intrinsic characteristic of the club.

With West Ham having had fewer managers than any other professional outfit in the country - just nine over 103 years - Glenn Roeder is well aware of the unique traditions at Upton Park.

And he is appreciative of that - while being realistic enough to know that, in modern day football, those traditions are - of necessity - under ever more severe pressure.

"It goes without saying - that tradition is very much a West Ham trait, and what is important to me is obviously to repay any faith that has been shown in me to achieve results," he says.

"I have many motivations for the rest of this season, many reasons to ensure our survival in the Premiership - and one of those is to pay back the faith that has been put in me by the most important people at the club.

"Terry Brown and the board has been very supportive, and I think that the fans have been incredibly understanding.

"In what has been an amazingly tough season, tougher than anyone could guess, I have retained my belief in myself, and I have no reason to believe we will not fight our way out of trouble.

"I believe there have been major factors that have caused us big problems this year; hopefully those problems have started to go away with the squad being fully fit again and there being competition for places, especially in the midfield area and the front part of the team.

"I have remained focused and in the strong belief that we will get ourselves out of the bottom three come the middle of May."

In gentler times, perhaps, there would not be quite the same scrutiny as in the modern day where playing in the Premiership is so vital.

Glenn knows this only too well, and adds:

"It is an industry that is driven by results, everyone knows that - and the results need to be better.

"When we were players we were always told 'you are only as good as your last game' and, as a manager, finishing seventh last season was a fantastic achievement by all of us, the backroom staff and the players - but it is very quickly forgotten; I understand that, and it is not a problem.

"Although it is on the CV that you finished seventh in your first year as manager of West Ham, it counts for nothing now.

"It is this season that we are looking at, and I am still the same person working with roughly the same players, although we do have some new faces - who I believe have made us stronger.

"It is a question now of not looking back any more, but only looking forward with lots of positive thoughts about achieving Premiership survival."

Glenn says the mood is optimistic as well as realistic and explains:

"I don't see players around Chadwell Heath who are doom and gloom; I see a lot of positive people and a lot of people that know they can do better - and believe they can do better.

"We have to start on Saturday against Leeds."

Glenn believes that, for the most part, there is now a genuine battle to get into the first team, and explains:

"I think the majority have realised how difficult it has been to operate most of the season without the main two strikers fit at the same time.

"We really need all our players to stay fit for the rest of the season - that is going to be a vital factor in survival. "And part of that is keeping the competition for your place."

As for himself, albeit very much asecondary concern, he says:

"The important thing is that in the big picture, and the learning curve of your career, I know it will stand me in good stead.

"It has certainly had to make me a tougher person to withstand a lot of things that happen when you are bottom of the league, and they are lessons that will stay with me forever."