Trevor's Mixed Feelings

Trevor Brooking admits it was a case of mixed feelings at the weekend after all the relegation threatened clubs bar Bolton eased themselves to mathematical safety.

He can only take satisfaction from his West Ham side doing their job, and says:

"Naturally the euphoria of the Chelsea game was a major plus because otherwise we weren't going to be worried about what was happening elsewhere.

"It was a memorable day and a terrific performance by the team, 1-0, it took a while coming again, and it was scripted for Paolo.

"Out worst spell was the 20 minutes up to half time and Petit was playing well, so they started to pass us for a little while.

"But we went at them again and we ended up good winners, though sadly Aston Villa and Fulham got the results they needed.

"The Villa one in particular was a huge disappointment because, having watched it, I would say Sunderland should have won it, never mind getting a draw, which would really have put them under pressure - but they escaped."

Ian Ormerod's miss a couple of yards out for Southampton against Bolton could prove costly to West Ham, and belonged more to Hackney Marshes, perhaps, than a professional football ground.

"We had to get through watching the game at Southampton after our game - and Ormerod's miss midway through the second half will linger for quite a while," admits Trevor.

"When I have done the punditry I have always spoken about one footed players and it was spinning just across the goal.

"He is a right footed player and he has tried to take it with the outside of his right foot, when all he had to do was slide it in and it would have hit his knee, body or anything.

"Although his left foot is the weaker one it would have somehow hit it and had to bundle its way into the net.

"To be honest it was an incredible miss."

To cap it all, Leeds then won at Arsenal and the neutrals' 'favourites' to go down ensured safety.

"Of course, Arsenal lost at home to Leeds, having given up a two goal lead against Bolton the week before," says Trevor.

"It was a game that Arsenal must have been psychologically down in having lost that two goal lead to Bolton the week before.

"Then they were missing a couple of other players and the defence always looked as if it might have been vulnerable without Sol Campbell.

"But I was hoping it wouldn't have been a defeat for Arsenal, because had Leeds still just taken a point they would have had to win their last game to be sure.

"So, all in all, by the time we emerged on Sunday night the euphoria had settled down a bit - but the destiny of it always seemed that it would be a shoot-out between West Ham and Bolton.

"It would have been nice to have been in our hands but that is how it has been in the last couple of weeks.

"Each time we have come up with a result and we are still in there - and so I sense that there is still a final twist in the tale yet."

West Ham now have to do better, points-wise, than Bolton on the last day, but with Middlesbrough being the visitors to the Reebok stadium and West Ham facing a Birmingham side desperate to finish above Aston Villa, the chances of retaining Premiership status look slender.

But Trevor is banking on the Boro to put on a professional performance, and he adds:

"It is quite strange; Glenn was taken ill after the Middlesbrough game and here they are going into the Bolton match.

"They had a good 5-1 win against Spurs in the Premiership and there is still a lot of money to play for in Premiership positions; if they get something at Bolton it can be worth half a million a place, so looking at that cluster of clubs in there they could go up three, or down three, so they have quite a lot to play for.

"But naturally Bolton will try and make the most of home advantage, though sometimes the expectancy that brings puts an added pressure on.

"They are a good defensive side and that is how they have got into the position they are in, but in the last three matches they have drawn while we have won matches - and a repeat of that scenario would see us staying up.

"Middlesbrough are quite able to get at least a draw, and what we don't want is coming off the pitch at Birmingham knowing that if we had won we could have stayed up.

"We have just got to focus totally on doing our job and hope that we get a favourable twist at some stage."

Trevor is just amazed that other clubs have ensured safety, and adds:

"With the run that ourselves and Bolton have had in the last four weeks you would have thought that somebody might have got dragged into it but each time they looked as if they were going to we have not been able to get that lucky bit of help to get somebody else into the equation.

"So in the end it will be three of the four that were isolated at Christmas, and all the efforts of Bolton and ourselves have left it still with us in the last game."