Paul's Festive Verdict

Paul Goddard admits the players must remove the home tension from their game on Saturday as they make attempt number 13 to get a win at Upton Park this season.

That is his biggest concern as he assesses the holiday games - but he sees plenty of positives from the shortened spell as well.

Paul actually missed the trip to Blackburn as he was so ill, but he has seen the game on video and says:

"We had two home games and the one at Blackburn - and you come out of all three games with different feelings," he says.

"The Bolton game was again one where we did enough to win it but we only came away with a point."

Indeed, Paul was confined to the stands for the Fulham game so as not to pass anything on to the players, and his view from there indicated what the problem might be.

"The Fulham match was the most disappointing of them all," he confesses, "because we just felt it was the poorest we have played for a while.

"A bit of tension crept into our game and affected it a little bit, so it wasn't a great performance - but again it was one we could have won.

"There was a very good performance at Blackburn and we should have got more, but it showed how strong the spirit was after the early goal we conceded."

Of David James' early error at Ewood Park he says:

"No one wants to make a mistake, and if a goalkeeper makes one it tends to go in the back of the net.

"If a striker misses a chance it might not mean anything or get reported, but obviously a goalkeeper is vital.

"To recover in the way we did, though, was credit to the boys."