Is It Anton's Year?

Anton Ferdinand is being backed to emerge as a first team candidate in the coming season.

Tony Carr has seen real progress from the youngster with the rather famous older brother, and says:

"Obviously living in his brother's shadow was always going to be difficult but he has shown a lot of maturity this year and he is starting to stand on his own two feet, not by reputation, but by performance.

"We are very hopeful he can progress this year and be in and around the first team.

"That will depend on the size of our squad and that is not an area I am involved in, but it is fair to say that because of the economic climate in the first division as against the Premiership, the squad might be a little bit thinner so that when the opportunity does arise it opens the door for a young homegrown player rather than a squad player that is just waiting in the wings and playing in the reserves.

"So I suppose playing in the first division may help, but I would counter that argument and say that, as much as that might be something good to come out of relegation, the only place to be is in the Premiership."

Rio famously said that Anton would even play for West Ham in the Conference, and Tony says:

"It won't come to that in our lifetimes unless something drastic happens - we are looking up rather than down."