Injury Latest

Injuries to an already small squad have affected preseason plans - and Elliot Ward is the most severely affected of the walking wounded.

Elliot, of whom hopes are high that he will make the breakthrough into the first team this season, was only on the field for three minutes on Tuesday at Bournemouth before pulling out - while Youssef Sofiane didn't even make it that far, having got injured in the warm-up.

Jermain Defoe limped off in the latter stages of the match with cramp, meaning that the Hammers - with no more subs to call upon - were down to 10 men, while Steve Lomas and Michael Carrick are still a way away from playing games. Of the injuries, Glenn reveals:

"Jermain just had a bout of severe cramp and it was my intention not to play him longer than 60 minutes as it was with all the other seniors.

"The majority came off on the hour although David James and Fredi Kanoute came off at half time, just as a precaution, because they were starting to feel they were going to pick up a knock that could have materialised a bit more in the second half.

"Only Christian and Seb got the full 90 minutes but because we had used all our subs up when Jermain cramped up so badly we had to finish the Bournemouth game with 10 men.

"With Elliot, we thought it was a knee problem but in fact he has had a back problem for three or four months that he felt had improved significantly.

"But it was the back that was causing him all the discomfort and it was shooting all the way down to his knee.

"So the knee is fine but we now have to resolve the problem he has with his back that will keep him out for up to a month - or maybe five weeks.

"Youssef has worked hard in training this year and he was very disappointed as I was that in the warm-up against Bournemouth on Tuesday he felt his hamstring tighten up.

"He didn't think it was worth the risk of letting that problem develop more, but I would have given him 30 minutes as well.

"I am still hopeful that Youssef will be fit to play some part in Saturday's game and be fit for the trip to Sweden.

"Steve Lomas is coming to Sweden with us as is Michael Carrick; they won't be fit to play in the games but we are taking them because they can get in a lot of physical work which they can do on a daily basis.

"They are not having problems running and their fitness levels are very good but they are not quite ready yet to get into the ball work."

Glenn, with so many players out and a trip to Sweden coming up next week, is keen to stress that it will not be a senior side that takes to the field at Dagenham and Redbridge on Saturday.

"We'd have liked to have been able to send our strongest possible team that is available but we are going to Sweden on Monday for a first team tour where we are playing two of the country's top teams, one of whom is Djurgardens who will be playing in the Champions' League next year.

"The other team is half way up the Premier League and they really will be two tough games.

"We picked up one or two knocks at Bournemouth on Tuesday and because of the numbers that we have available at senior level we can only send over a very young team and I wanted people to know what sort of team we would be sending over before actually getting into going to Dagenham.

"I hope people understand that, but it is a great opportunity for the young players to play against a team of Dagenham and Redbridge's quality.

"They were very unlucky last year not to have won the playoffs; I watched the game and I felt they put up a great show on the day.

"So we will have lots of young players that we hope will one day become first team players at West Ham but I would stress it will be an extremely young team.

"We only have a small squad for Sweden and I couldn't take any chances; we need them all to be fit and as we picked up a few knocks at Bournemouth on Tuesday I have to be careful and hold back the senior players for Sweden.

"I hope people appreciate the fact that we are telling them how it will be as far as team selection is concerned on Saturday."

As such, the team that plays on Saturday will be classed as a 'West Ham XI'.

As for the almost constant transfer rumours - amongst which Joe Cole has been linked with a move to Manchester United - Glenn responds:

"There is lots and lots of speculation but, as I said before, unless I am saying it I wouldn't be believing it.

"Things develop all the time in football and can change overnight but nothing is going to happen today.

"Who knows what will happen on Friday?

"At the moment we need everyone and we are working hard on some targets which I hope we can achieve in terms of new faces in the next couple of weeks."

The current lack of numbers, with 12 senior players having departed in the summer, meant that a very young 'reserve' side took to the field on Wednesday night against Thurrock, formerly Purfleet.

"Some of the boys had played the night before," says Roger Cross, "and it often difficult for youngsters when they face these teams because they have older players, many of whom have league experience."

One senior player who was involved in that game - a 2-0 defeat inflicted by two first half free kicks - was Ian Pearce.

"He came off at half time because he had an ankle injury but it is nothing serious," adds Roger.

TEAM: Sealey, McLenehan, Ferdinand, Pearce [Lumsden 45], Blewitt [Tucker 70], M Noble [Cohen 45], Byrne [Brady 60], D Noble [Wright 60], Bunce, Pearson, M Cole [San Lee 70].