In The Right

Peter Grant insists that Sergei Rebrov was not employed as a right 'winger' on Saturday - and feels that he can make a telling contribution from that side of the field when called upon.

And he is keen to qualify the perception that Marlon Harewood was employed in that role last season.

The difference is subtle, but important, and Peter explains:

"People think of Marlon's situation last year on the right hand side of the pitch but they forget that we tried to play three forwards last year - people have got it in their minds that we were asking him to play right midfield but it is not the case that we were trying to make that position for him.

"It is the same with Sergei; people talk about that luxury area behind the front two but if you can play the same role from a wider area it is harder to be picked up, and that is what we are trying to do with Sergei - not make him a right winger.

"He has too much ability to just stand out on the wing - we like our front four or five to move anywhere, really.

"Your back four are organised and you have one sitting midfielder but the rest have that freedom to go and play and create for you.

"So he is not nailed down in that position; yes, he fills back when we have not got possession but it is more about getting Sergei Rebrov on the ball wherever he may be and wherever he pops up on the pitch.

"That is why him and Teddy are in that position; we know they have the qualities, especially in this division, and if they play to their potential, to be the top men.

"The biggest problem Sergei has is that he has not done any preseason training; he has only been able to work four days on the bounce with the team since we came back from Sweden.

"Last week he played the match against Anderlecht and then had to rest the next three days because his legs couldn't take it and he wasn't up to speed.

"He asked to play in the reserve game last Monday and then he couldn't train for the next two days so he needs more and every game will get him up to speed, there is no question about that, and we will see what a world class player he is.

"We want him to play to his potential against Reading but football doesn't wait on you.

"But ideally he needs a few more games and the only way he is going to do that is by playing in every match.

"He knows, though, that he won't be getting any excuses and if he doesn't play well he will get criticised like everyone else.

"That is the nature of the beast, and you are looking at the special moments that only the likes of Sheringham and Rebrov can create in this division - once they are up to speed I am sure they will be top players for us."

Peter does not subscribe to the view expressed by Steve Coppell that Reading's players will have any extra motivation against their old manager, and explains:

"I'm not too sure; I think players in general just want to do well, and what a fantastic place to come, Upton Park, on television, to try and upset West Ham United.

"I would just want to play well in a big arena and it wouldn't have made any difference to me as a player that Alan was the manager.

"You want to play well against a massive club and be the best yourself, and I am sure there will be no extra incentive.

"Alan gave that club fantastic service and they got to heights they didn't think they could achieve, so have got a lot to thank Alan for in that respect.

"That goes out the window on the night; we are both there to do a job and hopefully the best team wins - and that is us.

"We were very disappointed the last time we played them; we were very poor indeed, and we want to produce a performance worthy of the West Ham jersey.

"I have watched Reading a couple of times this season and they have got good energy - and good players.

"You can have all the coaching in the world to make your team a little bit better but when you have good players it makes it even easier, no doubt about that.

"They have made a few good signings and spent something like £800,000 on one player, Convey, which I don't think has been known in Reading's history.

"They brought Glen Little in, who is an outstanding player at this level, and he has proved himself time and time again.

"Nicky Forster will be like a new signing for them and I have always liked Dave Kitson - he is a terrific player and I am surprised more people haven't taken a chance with him.

"They will be very strong but we need more players to do well more often in games; I thought on Saturday about seven or eight did decent and three or four could raise the bar.

"We are still looking for more from the rest and there is still more to come from us - no doubt.

"But if we play to potential we are more capable of winning the game; we went to Leicester to win and we want to win games as soon as we possibly can.

"Every game you play for West Ham United is a massive one; it is magnified because we are expected to win every game.

"It is fantastic pressure to play under and it should make you grow, and we will not treat this any differently because it is Alan's old club.

"You get confidence if you win and it keeps the supporters there; people keep harping back to the end of the season but now you have got to dust yourself down and react in a positive way.

"We saw a lot of positive signs on Saturday but we know there is a lot of room for improvement."

Of the Leicester game overall, he says:

"I think many teams will go there and be delighted to get a point but there was sense of frustration because we set our standards higher than that.

"We went there to win the game but circumstances dictated something different, and it is sometimes harder to break a team down when they lose a player as early as they did.

"Their attacking prowess wasn't evident in the game, because if you lose a player you put eight people behind the ball as quickly as possible.

"The thing was we could have moved the ball a bit quicker but that is easy to say watching it because the temperatures were unbelievable - and we could feel that pitch-side.

"The pitch was very dry, although it was in good nick, so to move the ball quickly was hard.

"I still felt we could have created more chances, and if we had taken one we did have I wouldn't have seen any way back for Leicester.

"Stephen made an excellent save from David Connolly, and they have hit the bar, but those are the only two chances I can remember them having - one a long shot and one a bit of opportunism, so we have to be pleased with that.

"But you are disappointed, not relieved because it is a place you would have loved to have got three points from.

"Their keeper has made a couple of good saves and there have been a couple of good blocks with them throwing bodies in front of it, and for us if Bobby had hit one first time he might have scored in the box.

"But I thought he did very well when he came on and Marlon had one or two half chances - but there were probably three great chances and if you create those at places like Leicester you are delighted; it is just about turning the into goals."