Joe Sleeps Better

History may record Paolo Di Canio and Jermain Defoe as the men who scored the vital goals to beat Blackburn on Wednesday evening - but Joe Cole reckons the fans that stayed with the team were just as crucial in helping him get to sleep on Wednesday night!

He says:

"It is thanks to the fans who stayed with us all the way through, and hopefully we can repay them by carrying on the performance to Sunday.

"We did the hard work in one way but they gave us the fuel to win it - it was brilliant, and hopefully it will be alight again for Sunday against Liverpool.

"All credit goes to the fans and the result is for them, us, and for Glenn - a big relief."

And, if there are those that doubt Glenn Roeder is wary of dishing out the Alex Ferguson 'hairdryer' treatment to his players, Joe can put you right.

"At half time we got a rollicking, a caning - me in particular," he reveals, "and I think I was feeling the effects a little bit from Sunday, and the amount of work I put in up there.

"But we came out in the second half and did the business; it wasn't luck, and it isn't always about luck - it was just a good performance."

Key to the win - one set piece aside that led to their goal - was the dogged defending to protect David James' goal, and Joe adds:

"We were 2-1 up at Upton Park against Newcastle and we didn't defend right, but we are learning from our mistakes - and that can only be a good thing."

The return of Paolo also made a huge difference, of course, and Joe - who ceded the captain's arm band to him on Wednesday - adds:

"Paolo is a big influence on our team, but also having the strength in depth to bring on Jermain, Trevor, and Fredi has to be scary for any team with them coming on fresh."

Joe, who now misses the West Brom game through suspension following his booking on Wednesday, emerged at Chadwell Heath on Thursday somewhat less bleary-eyed than the day after Old Trafford, and he says:

"The win is a massive relief and will help me sleep this week.

"I have found myself just talking to myself all night in the dark just talking to myself, going mad.

"But that is the start of it all."

The start of the recovery, that is, not a trip into insanity...