Tony: Keep It Tight

Tony Gale is hoping for another tight performance at Goodison Park this weekend - a venue where the Hammers' defence has been particularly profligate in the last few seasons.

"They will be difficult to beat - but they are certainly not unbeatable," says Tony of a game at the venue where West Ham conceded five goals only last season.

"I always feel for us the key is defending well; when we concede sill goals it is doubly difficult.

"If we defend from the front, and we have two hard working strikers there, it makes it easier whereas if you have 'luxury' players who are not going to defend for you it makes it harder down the line."

He confesses to being surprised that Everton are doing so well this season and adds:

"I have to admit I am so shocked they are up there; if you look at it, if anything we have got the better individuals."

Looking back on the last two games - both wins, of course - he says:

"We were a bit fortunate versus West Brom but it is about time - we need a bit of luck.

"Against Spurs, bar Arsenal, it was the best home performance of the season and it was relief more than anything when Michael got the second goal.

"Sunderland look like they have gone and are panicking, but good luck to Mick McCarthy."

The Black Cats face Bolton under new boss Mick McCarthy, and Tony adds:

"I am not really surprised by the move; I thought the appointment of Howard was a big mistake in the first place but it is still a brave move to realise your mistake - and they have done it.

"But I still think it is between us or Bolton, as Sunderland have too much to do - and I just hope when we go to Bolton it is not the decider.

"Sunderland play them at the weekend, of course, and we hope the lift of big Mick going there and being at home will suit because the crowd will be behind them."

And a prediction for West Ham on Merseyside?

"West Ham to nick a point."