Steve To Right Wrong

Steve Lomas is hoping to put what he sees as the gross injustice of his sending off on Sunday behind him to help inspire West Ham to a win at the Valley on Wednesday evening.

Few Hammers fans would disagree with Steve's sense of being wronged at the weekend when he was sent for an early, early bath at Highbury for what the referee saw as a foul on Robert Pires.

"It was obviously disappointing and I had a long wait in the dressing room listening to the lads on the radio," he reveals.

"Obviously I was feeling a bit sorry for myself having left the lads in the lurch.

"It doesn't matter what I feel, it is the referee that counts and he felt it was a penalty and a sending off.

"I didn't realise he would give a penalty and first of all I thought Pires was offside - I was looking across the line and I thought maybe he had gone a bit early.

"But obviously he hadn't done so and when he gave a penalty I just looked at the ref and knew I could have walked straight away.

"I said to him that I felt I didn't touch him or do anything - but once I looked at his face I knew he was going to send me off.

"I don't think there was contact; maybe my arm brushed his but it wasn't like I pulled him back and, to be fair, he has gone down like I have keeled him over.

"But I suppose in some ways we have got to expect that; a lot of the foreigners do do this and it is unfortunately part and parcel of the game nowadays - whereas an English player might have stayed on his feet to go on and score.

"He has come out and said that he felt it was a penalty and I should have been sent off - that is up to him, if it is his opinion."

Insult was added to injury when Denis Bergkamp appeared to foul Lee Bowyer prior to the second goal, and Steve adds:

"I think you will never know if Denis meant it or not but it looked pretty bad on the telly.

"That is entirely one for him to answer, but if you see it on telly, it looked like he saw him coming and swung his arm, whether he meant it or not.

"If we had hung on at 1-1 it would have been a monumental effort."

Now, Steve is looking forward, and adds:

"I have worked hard in training and tried to eradicate it - and I want to play my part in a win on Wednesday. "We have to start winning sooner rather than later."

He welcomes the signing of Les Ferdinand, and adds:

"Obviously Les' England days are behind him but it is a good signing for us and hopefully he can knock in a few goals.

"He will give us a bit of presence up front where we can start throwing a few crosses in the box.

"I am definitely still optimistic."

Ironically, Les enters the squad for the trip to the Valley at the expense of cousin Anton; Tomas Repka remains suspended.


James, van der Gouw, Bywater, Dailly, Bowyer, Breen, Winterburn, Minto, Sinclair, Lomas, Carrick, Cole, Defoe, Pearce, Johnson, Hutchison, Sofiane, Ferdinand L, Byrne, Cisse.