Matthew: The Right Response

Matthew Etherington admits the players were right to be criticised after the defeat at Gillingham - but feels they gave a suitable response at Cardiff on Tuesday night.

"People have been questioning our character of late, after Gillingham and Rotherham, but I think we answered the big question on Tuesday, dominating for about 70 minutes after going two goals down," he says.

"Once we started getting the ball down and playing they couldn't get anywhere near us and we know that if we play like that every week we should do well in this division; it is a matter of getting consistency, really.

"We all got a bit of stick at the weekend, deservedly so, and after going 2-0 down at Cardiff people were waiting to write the headlines.

"But we answered that, J got a good hat trick and everyone played well in the second half."

As for the atmosphere during the game on Tuesday - and indeed, afterwards, when a loud bang was heard, accompanied by a flash of light, as the players waited to board the coach - Matt says:

"I haven't a clue what that explosion was but I wanted to get out of there quick!

"But I didn't really find it intimidating; it was a good atmosphere, and it is part of being a professional footballer - you have top do the business out on the pitch and let your football do the talking.

"It as another massive game on Saturday and we are all looking forward to it in an upbeat mood - it should be a good game.

"If we play like we did on Tuesday in the second half it should be a good game and we should be all right."

As for events at his old club Spurs, and the sacking of Glenn Hoddle, he says:

"To be honest I am not surprised; I always thought it was going to happen.

"There was always a bit of a problem there behind the scenes and I think it was the right decision.

"But I am not worried about Spurs now; that is history, and I am concentrating on West Ham now and getting us back to the Premiership, which is the main target."