International Week Looms

Glenn Roeder says Don Hutchison getting picked for Scotland again has boosted him enormously - but admits, that as far as other internationals at Upton Park are concerned, his main thought is the players staying fit for West Ham duty.

"I think Don was delighted to get picked for Scotland this week and that gave him a big lift before Tuesday's reserve game in which he played; he thinks he will be playing as a striker which he is more than capable of doing and he is looking to playing against the Republic.

"It will do us a favour Don playing 90 minutes for Scotland next week, because it will help his match sharpness and match fitness.

"Everyone said his performance this week was one we all know he is capable of and he has certainly moved on since his last reserve game before that a number of weeks ago.

"He is in a really positive frame of mind at the moment; he wants a starting place which I don't know if I will be able to offer him at the moment, but I am certain we will be able to get him on the bench, and I have said to him 'as and when you get on the bench it is up to you to play well enough from there to retain your place for the next game.'

"We need to keep Hutch in that positive frame of mind because he is a midfield player that, when he is on song, can score vital goals - and we need to have him at his best."

Christian Dailly is also in the Scotland squad, and Gary Breen is in opponents' Eire's squad, but, of course, the England squad has yet to be announced and Glenn doesn't know which of his players will be selected.

"We are waiting to see, but - and I think the international managers will understand what I am saying here - at this time with 12 games to go West Ham's cause has to come before the international cause.

"I'd like to think they will understand that."

Fredi Kanoute is waiting to hear if he is in the trimmed down France squad - he is in the initial 30 - and Glenn adds:

"I have no control over that anyway; if they select him and he is in the reduced squad from the original 30 or so, so be it and it shows what high esteem the French federation, and the coach Jacques Santini, have for Fredi.

"He has been out for 20 weeks and the first opportunity he has to put him in the squad he has done so - it has given Fredi a lift to think that he has not been forgotten in England and we will just have to wait and see now.

"If he has a good game against Leeds that will certainly help his cause.

"We need to have that same run in again and we are capable of doing it - but we have got to get cracking, starting on Saturday.

"We know we can do it but we have to go and prove we can, so we have got to start a good run from Saturday onwards."

Steve Lomas returns from suspension and Glenn adds:

"Steve Lomas thankfully only got a one match ban but it is a real shame he got that at Arsenal because he was in the winning side against Blackburn and I wanted to keep the same side, but illness and suspension made us make a couple of changes.

"Steve's presence in midfield was missed and in our situation Steve's character and style of play - he is an up and at 'em type of person - is what we need to make players fire.

"There is no doubt that when Steve is getting in the thick of the action it makes Michael do that - Michael can do that, and he has to do that; he is capable of mixing it as far as getting involved in winning the ball for the rest of the team is concerned then using all his quality on the ball, which he needs to do for us."

Speaking ahead of the game at Elland Road at the weekend, Glenn says of the opposition:

"Leeds United have still been left with a very decent squad even after losing the players they have, and I saw their qualities on Tuesday night against Gillingham - but our players are looking forward to the challenge.

"I am sure Leeds are happy to have secured the services of young James Milner and Alan Smith on long term contracts this week.

"I think Terry has been an excellent coach for a long time now and he has got huge experience, having managed Barcelona and England.

"The fortunate thing for Leeds is that he will be able to put his experience into working with the Leeds players that have remained, who are all excellent."