Glenn: Attitude Is Key

As the first team squad report back for pre-season training today, Glenn Roeder says attitude is all important in Division One - and insists that no one will be underestimating the task ahead of returning to the Premiership at the first attempt.

"Half the teams in the first division have been in the Premiership in the last three or four years - the likes of Ipswich, Derby, Coventry - and Sunderland and West Brom were obviously in the Premiership last year.

"No one at West Ham will be treating the first division lightly. We will have a good, hard pre-season and work extremely hard on our fitness as we always do and make sure we are superfit and ready for the start of the season.

"We will be expected to start the season well and the players have to be up for the challenge. If you have the right attitude in the squad, a good one, they will be, with people that are focused and prepare in the right manner."

Glenn is well down the road to recovery after having had a benign brain tumour removed and he adds: "I wouldn't want to be seen as defiant. I would rather say that I am getting back to full health and feeling very positive towards the new season.

"No matter how disappointed and low any individual supporter felt on the last Sunday at Birmingham I was at least as, if not more, disappointed.

"I wanted to be at St. Andrew's but it wasn't possible. I had to suffer the agony of having to watch it unfold from my own home.

"It was agonising and it was hugely disappointing to go down when, 10 times out of 10, 42 points would easily have acquired safety.

"I think Sam Allardyce said in a freak year we have ended up being relegated with a record number of points. "Without doubt our problem was with the home form and we drew too many games.

"In my first season when we finished seventh we lost 15 games and in the season just gone we lost 16, one more game.

"But we drew too many and as everyone knows the difference between a draw and a win is two points and those three or four extra draws that we had have really cost us - but there we are.

"But I don't want to give the cynics the chance to say it is all excuses."

As for his personal recovery, he says: "I have to say that if anything has knocked me back - and having a brain tumour is not the best news to be told, but I am a realist and took the news on the chin - it was the response for the two weeks after the news I had been taken ill.

"Not just from our supporters but people in all walks of life, not just in football, and from all over the world.

"The furthest point from us is probably New Zealand and I have had many cards from there, and Australia and America, and I don't know how these people knew I had a problem.

"I had letters and cards from people at Watford, good people but not ones I would have dreamed would go to a card shop or take the trouble to write a letter, and that has certainly given me a lot more faith in human beings than I had at times last year - though it was only a minority that made me lose it.

"The response has reminded me that there a lot of decent people in our society, people that do genuinely care.

"And I didn't realise I had so many people in football that I could consider friends. You touch base with these people but don't have a working relationship with them as there are too many.

"The response from the football world has been truly amazing; there are very few managers in the four divisions that didn't send something and I am sure the ones that didn't weren't aware anyway.

"I will make sure that everyone will get a letter from me because if people can take the trouble to send me something - and it is well over a thousand - I can take the trouble to send them something back.

"It might take a while but somewhere along the line they will get a response to what they did for me and it gave me a very warm feeling to realise that there are so many people that want you to recover and do well."