Paul: Keep It Clean

Paul Goddard says that clean sheets have to be the order of the day if West Ham are to get out of the bottom three.

"Points are the most important thing. We need points and wins, and to give yourself the best chance of winning games you have to keep clean sheets," he says.

"We have to try and get many more than we have done - because we do have the ability to get goals."

The players have enjoyed a full, intensive week of training, while a number, who were not on international duty, have had a fortnight to work on things.

"With the international players being away not everyone has been around but fortunately we were left with the back four that played at Leeds in the first week so we have done a lot of constructive work with them," says Paul.

"There were only six or seven senior players left and we drafted in the youth side - and really worked hard."

Paul saw signs of a tightening up at the back despite the defeat at Elland Road, and he explains: "We thought there was a little bit of an improvement defensively against Leeds. It is imperative that we get our defensive record better, that is for sure.

"I have watched it on the video a couple of times since and it was a very tight, competitive game which we were very unlucky to lose.

"Maybe we didn't do enough to win it but a draw would have been a fair result; there weren't masses of chances at either end.

"David James had to make a reaction save early on and one in the second half, but other than that he didn't have much to do.

"I thought we still took the game to Leeds the best we could with 10 men; Jermain had half an opportunity that he created himself and there were a couple of other things that could have gone our way.

"But it wasn't to be and that crucial goal in the first half was unfortunately enough to beat us."

As for a points total to stay up, Paul adds: "Everyone looked at 40 at the start of the season and then people are saying it might be a little bit less than that.

"A number of times Glenn has set challenges to the players and the goal posts do keep moving because of different results.

"Our objective is just not to get relegated, whatever we have to do."

Joe Cole and Fredi Kanoute are suspended for the trip to the Hawthorns, with Les Ferdinand and Trevor Sinclair likely to come in.

"The manager has got a few big decisions to make before the weekend," says Paul.