Paul: We're Looking Hard

Paul Goddard says Glenn Roeder is trying everything to add to the defence before the transfer window closes.

But he adds that the goals against column cannot just be put down to the back four and goalkeeper.

"Defending starts from the front," he says, "and works right back to the goalkeeper - and recently that has been a problem for us.

"We are playing games constantly at the moment and recovery time is the thing, but the manager has been scouring Europe for anyone who could make us better.

"There are many Premier League clubs looking for defenders, but, as everyone can see there is very little movement in the transfer market."

As for José Pierre-fanfan, who Glenn sent a scout to check out last week for Monaco, Paul says:

"It was just another one; obviously agents are working very hard to move their players this month and unfortunately they push anything and everything - so you have got to be careful."

The transfer window reduces the opportunity to see targets play personally, and Paul adds:

"There are not very many chances to see them play - you have got to rely on your scouting network and videos.

"There aren't many names on the list because there are not that many out there, and it is no good just bringing anybody in.

"They must be better than what you've got - and what we have got can do better."

And of course, if no one else does come in, work on existing players must bring results.

"That is what we have to improve straight away; they have proven they can do it in the past," says Paul.

"Obviously confidence is low but we have got to work hard to get it back.

"You are looking to score three goals to win a game and that is almost impossible.

"We are all hurt and there is a determination when you are hurt - so we hope that will kick in.

"But Paolo and Fredi are back more to give us more firepower - and a few wins can change the picture of things.

"But at the moment those wins seem far away."

As for the two new boys, Paul says:

"I thought Les was super in his debut at Charlton; he won vital headers in both boxes.

"And I thought Lee battled away manfully but it was just his end product.

"That said, Charlton was only his third game after five or six weeks out, so he is a little bit ring-rusty - but he will only get better."

With Glen Johnson looking for a full debut at Old Trafford in the cup, Paul, speaking ahead of the game, says:

"Glen has done tremendously well this year and kicked on from last season with a good loan spell at Millwall, then he has come back and trained well.

"He is only 18 and it is very difficult to think about playing an 18 year old in the situation we are in; we don't want to hurt him and we have got to develop him so he becomes a player of the future as well - but he has pushed himself into the frame."

Of the match overall, he adds:

"It is a fantastic place to go and play your football; we know it is a real tough place to go.

"They are probably the best at moment, or certainly as good as Arsenal - if not better; in the title race I don't see anything between Arsenal and Manchester United.

"But it is a game where we can show what spirit we have got - and we are going to have to defend well - but there is a focus on next week and the league.

"You can't keep on bleating; you have got to get on with things, work hard, and hope the tide turns with the players you have got.

"We need a good performance - you can't just turn up there.

"You never know, maybe a little pressure is off as it is a cup tie; it is a lit bit different and seen as a bit of relief."

Cup ties, win or lose at Old Trafford, Paul feels the run in to the end of the season will be like knockout football anyway, and concludes:

"We have got to dig deep now; everyone has got to treat each game like a cup final."