Paul: We Need Players

Paul Goddard warns that there will need to be a significant intake of players if West Ham are to make a successful attempt at getting out of the first division next season.

"We would like to keep the same squad and add a couple ideally, but we know that isn't going to be the situation," he admits.

"But the players that can carry on improving, the young homegrown players, you would love to keep on board.

"Hopefully we do have a right good go at getting back up and they will be there to look after us in the Premier League again."

Targets have been identified and Paul adds: "There has been a lot of talk and debate with Glenn, Trevor and all our scouting staff as well. Lists have been drawn up but it is early doors and finances dictate almost every transfer, really.

"The squad is looking pretty thin and we have got to play 46 very tough physical games this season and you need a bigger squad, if anything, than we had last year to cope with that.

"I hope we bounce back. We have certainly got some quality in our team but there needs to be some thought put into having a strong squad this year and having the numbers to be able to deal with 46 league games.

"That is eight more than last season, we are already favourites, and every away game will be the biggest of the season for the team we are playing - and therefore a massive challenge will be put in front of us.

"We mustn't be under the influence that we can just go there and roll teams over because we won't be able to - it is going to be very tough.

"We are not over-confident, but we are confident in our own ability.

"We mustn't get carried away, though; we need a very strong squad to cope with the first division."

Paul is delighted that Glenn Roeder is recuperating well from his brain operation to the extent that he is able to work from home, and he says: "It is good news for Glenn and his family that it looks like the problem has been dealt with and he can get back to being a healthy young man - and we are all pleased about that."

As for the appointment for the last three games of Trevor Brooking as caretaker manager, Paul explains: "There was a slight change with Trevor but nothing drastic. The ship was rolling by then and players were focused.

"Everything was going along nicely and myself and Roger were just carrying on with the coaching. Trevor stepped in, had an input, and very good that was too.

"There were some changes because it was a different person fronting and talking. Paolo came back and that was a decision made by Trevor and the players."

Paul is no longer the last West Ham player to score for the full England side following Joe Cole's recent free-kick against Serbia and Montenegro.

Paul scored a second half equaliser, under former Hammers manager Ron Greenwood, after coming on as substitute during the 1-1 friendly against Iceland in Reykjavik on June 2, 1982.

It was just prior to the 1982 World Cup, but not enough to prevent him and - fellow Hammer Alvin Martin - being the two players left out of the 22-man squad as it was cut down to 20 for the tournament.

"It is quite amazing considering it was 21 years ago, isn't it? I didn't realise until someone told me," he says.

As for Joe, who didn't get a run against Slovakia in the 2-1 win on Wednesday night, Paul is full of praise.

"Joe deserves all the credit. He has worked incredibly hard this year and he tried everything to keep this club in the Premiership, but unfortunately it wasn't to be.

"Mr Eriksson picks his side, but I feel Joe deserves to get a little run in the team, maybe two or three games in a row to see how he goes."

*Former Hammers youth team coach Peter Brabrook has been appointed assistant manager at Ryman Division One North side Tilbury.