Matthew Pulls Out

Matthew Etherington has had to pull out of the England U21 squad to face Macedonia and Portugal because of injury.

He was a late call-up but, just as soon as he had reported for duty, he had to withdraw again.

"It is a groin injury that I picked up against Ipswich; it is nothing serious but it is going to hold me back for a few days," he reveals.

"It is unfortunate but it is one of those things; you have to look after number one at the end of the day.

"I play for West Ham and I have to make sure that is the priority - which it is - so I have just got to get on with it.

"I am going to see a specialist tomorrow as the physio has recommended just to make sure it is nothing more serious but I don't think it is and hopefully I should be back training next week ready for the game next Saturday."

Nonetheless, the recognition, despite having moved from the Premiership to the first division with West Ham, has given Matthew a boost.

"I have been called up before but I have been left out in the last few months, so it was a surprise in a way.

"I have been playing well for West Ham in the last couple of games so I thought there might be a chance.

"I am still eligible until the championships have finished and hopefully in the next squad I will be involved."

That Matthew stays fit is important to West Ham's promotion push goes without saying, and he admits:

"The squad is bare at the moment but everyone knows that the physio department has done a good job keeping everyone fit and the injury situation is looking quite positive at the moment."

As for playing under Trevor Brooking in the last two games, he adds:

"It is brilliant; he is a really nice bloke, and he has helped me a lot in the last week or so he has been in charge.

"I haven't got a bad word to say about him, but obviously I don't know what is going to happen and not many of the lads do.

"But if he was to take over I think it would be a good thing."

He says the 'Mr. Nice Guy' image is well deserved but has seen first hand that he can be firm when he has to.

"Definitely he has got that side to him," says Matthew, "and all the lads get on well with him - he has a lot of respect from them, which is what you need.

"He sits down and talks to you man to man but if he is not happy with you he tells you.

"But if he is happy he will say that as well; the lads do like him so it will be interesting to see what happens.

"He is a very experienced man and he has played at the highest level so of course, like I say, there is a lot of respect there.

"I think probably the general consensus is that the lads would like him to take over - but if someone else is brought in that is the way it goes.

"His record has been second to none both this time and when he took over at the back end of last season.

"At the end of the day it is up to him and the board, so we will just have to wait and see."

As for the departure of Glenn, Matthew adds:

"Glenn was brilliant to me when I first came to the club and I was very sad to see him go, but that is what happens in football and I have to get on with my life as he has to get on with his.

"I am sure I will meet him down the road and talk to him again."

He is not surprised that 50 serious applicants have put their names forward for the post and adds:

"I said when I first came that is a massive club and the interest in the job shows how big the club is."

Meanwhile, Steve Lomas has had his ankle operation in Holland on Tuesday.