The Importance Of Being...stubborn

Trevor Brooking says that sneaking the odd win when not being on top form will be a major key to success this season.

Trevor has said repeatedly this season that the team has not been firing on all cylinders for the entire duration of games, but recognises that when that happened on Saturday at Pride Park, the game was won through sheer bloody-mindedness.

"In the end it was a useful three points and, whereas we criticised the Gillingham performance when we weren't in a lot of trouble for an hour and ended up losing the game after giving away a silly free kick, this time we got the three points - and that is really what we want to do when we are not quite at our best," he says.

"To end up with at least a point in those situations or, with the quality we have got up front, we can hopefully quite often emerge with the victory - and that will make a difference later on."

He does concede, however, that Derby might feel aggrieved that they didn't get a point, and he adds:

"I think probably you could have argued a draw was about right but if you look at the playback of the chances we had the better of the chances.

"I thought David James made a good save from Svensson then you had the header late on from Ian Taylor but David Connolly had three good chances and certainly the last one, in the second half, he felt he should have scored.

"Neil Mellor had a couple of half chances but in the end, getting the goal so late, we were delighted to get the three points."

Trevor, creative player though he was, is also delighted that West Ham are now clear of Wigan in terms of having the meanest defence in the division.

"The other bonus was we got back to keeping a clean sheet like we did against Crystal Palace and we do now have the best defensive record in the league," he says.

"That is something that everyone should be pleased about and will keep us in good stead if we are going to stay where we are in the league.

"David James is naturally a big player in that area because he makes such good saves."

Just a reminder that, despite some media referring to West Ham away to Wimbledon at the weekend, the game has off course been called off because of international week.

As previously mentioned, the match has been rescheduled for Tuesday, 25th November at 7:45.

And it's in Milton Keynes!