Michael On Battle

Michael Carrick warns Leeds United that they could get sucked into the danger zone even if most observers feel the battle for 17th place is a straight one between West Ham and Bolton.

The fight in and around the danger zone, though, is not as clear-cut as that, according to Michael, who says: "It is hard to say. If Leeds lose a couple more games and we win a couple more it changes again.

"Every week it changes and we are just concentrating on ourselves - if we keep winning we will get out of it."

Can he remember the last time the Hammers were out of the bottom three?

"It was a while ago now, but with Bolton playing Monday we are not taking anything for granted.

"We are not there yet and there are still a few more games to play but we are doing all right at the minute."

In fact, it was a 4-3 home defeat to Leeds that put West Ham back in the bottom three after consecutive wins at Sunderland and Fulham looked to have set West Ham on their way to an early season revival.

That was the only brief sojourn out of the danger zone until Saturday's win over Sunderland and, of course, it will be an even briefer one if Bolton beat Spurs on Monday night.

But Michael says the players' belief is soaring, adding: "Wins breed confidence, and even the game at Everton, which wasn't a very good one, we will settle for away from home.

"It has been getting better and better every week for the last four or five weeks now and hopefully it will get better again when we go to Southampton."