Michael's Mixed Emotions

Michael Carrick is calling on fans not to be too despondent after the draw at home to Norwich on Wednesday evening - but he does admit that not building on leads is a problem.

West Ham were ahead after just four minutes, but, as in the Millwall home game, failed to capitalise, and Michael says:

"We are still fourth so it is not too much of a big deal; it is a draw, obviously, but we are not going to win every game this year and we are not going to play well in every game.

"It is one of those things; a draw is a draw, we have another game on Saturday and we will look forward to that.

"We wanted to win and we go into every game believing we are going to win - and Saturday will be no different."

He concedes that after the early 'strike' - an own goal by Craig Fleming - he expected West Ham to go on and win.

"You always do when you go one up," he says, "but we have done that a few times this season, starting well and letting ourselves down.

"It is something to work on, I suppose, but I don't know the reason."

He does feel some credit has to go to the visitors, though, and adds:

"They are not a bad side, just behind us in the league, and they have been strong this season.

"They have had a good run recently and Crouchy caused us a few problems up front."

Trevor Brooking, meanwhile, refuses to let the absence of the suspended David Connelly and Jermain Defoe be used as an excuse.

"People will say Jermain and David would have tucked opportunities away but I think that is unfair.

"There are other parts of the team where we still didn't pass the ball well enough; we gave the ball away and made the wrong decisions.

"We lost our way a bit in the second half and when Francis had a good chance we could have lost the game, but I thought we should have been more than one up at half time.

"You will get punished at whatever level if you don't tuck chances your away, but it was reminiscent of other games where we have spells when we give the ball away - and the quality isn't at the level it is going to be required to be for an automatic place.

"You can't have those spells which, quite frankly, we have had in a lot of games; we have ended up overall getting some decent results but there are spells in nearly every game where we could have lost it or given a goal away.

"You cannot do that and expect to finish in the top two - we have got away with things but with three wins and three draws at home I don't think we have played consistently well in any of them.

"It's frustrating because our fans deserve to see a 90 minute performance, and they haven't yet.

"We will have to get better and we will have to make sure we are ready, no question; we are within touching distance but we could have squandered other points if we had been punished as sometimes you are.

"There are too many games where we have squandered possession.

"We have to move it up a bit if we want to get in the top two."

Equally, Trevor is not blaming the referee for a performance that many home fans didn't enjoy - not least of which when he didn't give Matthew Etherington a penalty in the first half when Kevin Harper may or may not have felled him.

"I didn't think it was a good night for the official but you certainly couldn't accuse him of being a 'homer'!" he says.

As for Norwich's equaliser, Trevor adds:

"We had two or three chances to cross the blessed ball for the goal, we were attacking, caught in two minds, and they go to the other end and score about ten seconds later."

Trevor is more convinced than ever that Alan Pardew will be looking to add to the squad when he takes over, and he concludes:

"I am sure Alan is going to bring in two or three others when he gets up and running and the fact is November and December will be two big months because we play West Brom twice, Wigan, Forest, Ipswich, Sunderland...there are some big tests ahead."