Christian: Bow Can't Do It On His Own

Christian Dailly insists that, as massive an admirer as he is of Lee Bowyer, West Ham's newest recruit cannot lift the Hammers single handedly.

Christian says that is up to his team mates to lift him as much as the other way round, and explains: "It gives us a lift to have someone, especially of that quality and I think he has settled in right away. It's a nice bunch of boys here and that is never a problem.

"He supports West Ham, wants to play here, and that is the sort of commitment we need.

"I have played against him on a number of occasions and he is obviously quite fiery which is a good thing, and he likes to score goals from the middle of the park.

"But we have to be careful because it is not a case of saying 'we've got Lee Bowyer, that's it, we are going up the league' - because it is up to everyone else to turn in performances as well.

"He is one member of that team. We are looking forward to his contribution but every single other player has got to keep going as well to turn these draws into wins."

Glenn Roeder agrees with Christian's philosophy and says: "While the lads are looking to have something rub off on them from Lee, he might also learn from our players as well."

Continues Christian: "It is obviously a good signing for us and we are looking forward to him settling in.

"It looks as if there are going to be a few signings this month and hopefully that will kick start us up the league."

Christian is also backing fellow defender Tomas Repka - who begins a four match ban this weekend - to bounce back when he does return to action.

Has some of the recent criticism of him been justified?

"No way. A lot of stuff that has been said has been out of order," insists Christian "and I think it is important that everyone around the club sticks by him, because he is a great player.

"It is true that people put things out of all proportion and make it something that it isn't, and it is important that everyone connected with the club realises that - and sticks their fingers up to the press or the people having a go.

"We are all 100% behind Tom and if everyone showed the kind of commitment he does we would never have a problem.

"He is fully into doing well for West Ham and that is all he wants - everyone at the club loves him, he will be fine, and he is a strong character.

"But it is not something that needs labouring. We are all behind him - but he can look after himself, and that is basically it."

Christian was involved in a fair bit of controversy himself last weekend when he was involved in the penalty decision given to Nottingham Forest, as well as being the offended party when the visitors had a late goal disallowed.

He admits the penalty decision was correct and candidly reveals: "It was a good decision I made with the penalty. It was just a split second one when the ball dropped to Marlon Harewood, and I did give him a little bit of a pull as he was just going to stick it in.

"But I was quite fortunate because, although I didn't think I deserved to go off, with the letter of the law and how they do it now, sometimes they can send you off for things like that.

"I am not saying that is right, but I am pleased I didn't get booked either because I am one booking away from suspension.

"I got pushed for the 'equaliser' - it was a definite foul and right that it was given.

"I am just angry that the ref didn't give it in the first place, though the linesman saw that Harewood was pushing me for about three or four yards in my back.

"If I was doing it the other way about it would have been a penalty, so it was only right that it was given.

"I am a great believer that you earn your luck. There were times in that game when Nottingham Forest played really well, and it did take an awful lot of battling from us to keep in the game at times.

"But we stuck in there and got our reward, which is to play Manchester United in the next round.

"It was good to get a win but I think it quite important that we stay grounded - we got through but I still felt there were things we have to work on as a team.

"We will take the win and enjoy it, but I don't think it is right to say we are there now.

"It was great to start the new year with that first victory of the season at Upton Park - but we are looking to get one in the league now."

Trevor Brooking believes that four, if not five, home wins are needed from the remaining eight, and Christian adds: "I think that is probably right, but I can never help looking past the next game, and the sooner we get a win on the board the sooner we will get out of the situation.

"But we are probably not going to be able to relax for the rest of the season, and it is a case of trying to win each game one by one.

"I think we have played well in a lot of the matches and we have only lost one in five, but if we can turn some of the draws into wins it would be great."

It is time for revenge for the 4-0 defeat at Newcastle in August - the Hammers' first game of the campaign - and he recalls: "We were reasonably solid and held out for a large part of the game but once we lost one the team seemed to lose shape completely.

"But hopefully that won't be the case on Saturday and we are just trying to get back to winning ways at Upton Park.

"We know we can give anyone a good game and Newcastle will know that. I think it will be an exciting game."

As far as Newcastle's team news is concerned, Kieron Dyer is rated 70-30 to make the game but defender Andy O'Brien is more likely to miss out.

Shola Ameobi will replace suspended skipper Alan Shearer, while Carl Cort and Titus Bramble return, but still on the injured list are Gary Speed (hernia), Hugo Viana (shoulder) and Jamie McClen (back).