Steve Denies Claims

Steve Lomas says he is satisfied that comments attributed to West Ham United players in a newspaper article on Friday were not actually made by anyone at Upton Park.

A report in one national tabloid newspaper implies a conversation with an unnamed player as making certain claims, and also names, though doesn't quote, Rufus Brevett and Les Ferdinand as saying the training wasn't strict enough.

On the issue of the players' diet, Steve says: "It has definitely improved no end since I have been here."

And Steve, who confronted the journalist involved about which players had purportedly spoken to him, he reveals: "He said it was a companion or acquaintance of one of the players whoever that may be, but in his article he said 'a player said this' like he was quoting them.

"It is just people trying to stir things up when you are down there and the fellow had some front coming down to the training ground today.

"But I suppose that is the nature of a lot of sports journalists now - I am not saying all, but a high majority."

He also asked his playing colleagues if any of them had spoken, and confirms: "The players have said not and if they had they would have come forward and admitted it.

"Nowadays papers can get away with saying 'a friend of a friend' or 'a source' and that on a bit of hearsay.

"At the end of the day you accept justified criticism but things like that are just intended to stir it up and cause a rift.

"From what the players have said they didn't say anything so you have to take it from that. Two new players are not going to be saying things like that anyway, so it is a bit strange."

He insists the claims will not deflect the players from preparing for Sunday, and adds: "It is a big game, no two ways about it, no matter what happens.

"We are all up for it, looking for places, and I am looking forward to it.

"If we get three points it will be gained at the expense of another relegation candidate."