Clive's Coming On

Glenn Roeder has not included Clive Delaney in the squad for Sunderland despite taking him up to Everton - but stresses that the recent signing from University College Dublin is progressing well.

"Clive is doing well at the moment; there are a lot of edges to come off him but he is a terrific man to work with," he says.

"And he has got natural qualities such as his heading ability, being strong in the tackle, and relatively comfortable on the ball for someone who is 6'5".

"He is still learning as far as this level is concerned and it is a question of how quickly he can pick it all up."

Clive played in the reserves' draw with Ipswich midweek, alongside, amongst others, 15 year old midfielder Mark Noble.

"There were two 15 year olds playing the other day; we had one, Mark Noble, a young England player, and Ipswich had one.

"Mark thoroughly enjoyed himself in what I think was his third reserve game and acquitted himself very well."

Sebastien Schemmel and Gary Breen were both taken off in that game, but Glenn says:

"Sebastien had a blister on his heel, nothing to worry about, and we just took Gary Breen off as a precaution because the back of his leg was stiffening up."

Glenn has detected a good 'vibe' in training this week and he explains:

"The confidence that comes with getting good results is showing up very much in training and some of the sessions this week have been of the highest quality.

"It is a question again of transferring the quality we see in training every day into the match situations which we have done in these last three games, and which we will have to do again against a side that is fighting hard for its own survival."

Richard Garcia returns to the squad after a hamstring strain, Don Hutchison is back after a knee niggle, and Fredi Kanoute has completed a three match suspension for his sending off at Leeds.

Nigel Winterburn regains his place in the squad after recovering from a wrist operation, with Paolo Di Canio and Lee Bowyer, who is currently suspended, set to return in a fortnight's time for the trip to Southampton.

The likelihood is that Les Ferdinand will retain his place in the starting line up, and Glenn says:

"Les could have stayed in the comfort zone at Tottenham but, like all top sportsmen, he wanted to live on the edge and help us with our fight for survival.

"Our supporters have taken to him, especially scoring that goal against Tottenham which helped us to a victory, with his ability and his effort - and the way he has linked up with Defoe.

"He is a warrior and we have had them here before - the Stuart Pearces, the Nigel Winterburns, the Ian Wrights, playing at the end of their careers.

"Les has been a typical West Ham signing over the last three to four years and, while the young players have responded to him, the older ones have too - he has gelled with everyone.

"It is difficult not to like someone like Les Ferdinand; we manage him carefully, he does not come out training every day but, when he does, he puts in an excellent morning of work and that is him ready for the weekend."

SQUAD: James, van der Gouw, Bywater, Johnson, Repka, Pearce, Dailly, Brevett, Kanoute, Moncur, Cole, Carrick, Breen, Garcia, Cisse, Hutchison, Sinclair, Defoe, Ferdinand, Lomas, Winterburn.