Glenn: Not Afraid Of Tough Decisions

Glenn Roeder says he will have no problems leaving senior players on the bench - or in the stands - in the final run-in.

That is not, of course, a disrespectful comment aimed at those players that don't make the starting line-up in games to come, rather an explanation that, the more options he has, the better it will be for the club as a whole.

For example, Glenn could have been forgiven for being relieved at having the decision about who to play in midfield on Saturday to some degree 'made' for him, when, with Joe Cole returning from suspension, Steve Lomas dropped out with a knee injury.

But Glenn insists that he is happy to make difficult decisions and stresses: "I want everyone to be fit and available for the last nine games - every single senior player that I want.

"We know it is not going to happen, obviously. Lee Bowyer is banned for the next two games and Fredi is banned for one more game, but we don't want any more suspensions or injuries.

"I want the nicer problem of deciding which 11 start the game. I know I have the backing of all the players, and that the 11 who start have the backing of the ones who don't start - but are ready to come on and pick up the reins of the fight when need be.

"It is all about our survival now, about us staying up and getting enough points to finish this season as a Premiership club."

Glenn says that that the Spurs performance must set the standard for the final nine matches of the campaign.

"I thought on Saturday against Spurs it showed an excellent statement of our intentions - that is our benchmark now for the rest of the year," he explains.

"We mustn't dip below that, and the players will watch that video again so the players can see themselves in the sort of focus that they are going to be for the last nine games."

Particularly pleasing to Glenn was the solidity shown against Spurs, and he adds: "We had good shape throughout, with two solid banks of four, a back four that performed very well and protected the goalkeeper for 90 minutes.

"David James said himself that it is gratifying as a goalkeeper to come off thinking 'I have had hardly anything to do today' - and they put up a shield in front of him.

"The middle four put up a shield up in front of the back four and the front two played good striking roles - as a partnership.

"They worked closely together, they were never far apart, they could always find each other with a pass, and when they closed down they didn't do it as individuals - but as a pair.

"Les was just a shining example to the other players, and when he took that horrible knock in the face, I think it was a case of the other players looking to see whether he was going to get up and carry the fight on.

"And when they saw Les come back onto the field after taking that bad bang in the face it gave the players a big lift and a motivation to keep going.

"We got our just rewards with a goal, and fittingly it was Les who scored it.

"Again, it is teamwork, and if there are people that are not prepared to be part of that teamwork then they won't be involved, but I don't see that we had players like that."