Teddy's Happy

Teddy Sheringham, hero of Tuesday's win over Reading on Tuesday, was left breathless in more ways than one after his cut and thrust home debut - his 800th senior appearance in football.

He was impressed by the atmosphere, by debutant Luke Chadwick who set him up for the goal - and by the opposition.

Not that the quality of Reading surprised him - nor the pace of the game.

"I would say it is quicker than at Premier League level; you have got to be quicker, stronger, have a better touch, and everything," he says.

"It is quicker here because the players aren't as good - that is fair enough to say, and I am not being horrible.

"That is the way it is; if you are not on your game, you are left behind.

"I don't think you can pace yourself, you just have to go at it and be as big and strong as what everyone else is.

"I felt all right, will have a couple of days off, and get ready for Wigan."

It may have been a decade and a half since Teddy last played in English football's second tier, but the way Reading came at West Ham did not faze him.

"We are going to have to expect that but there are some decent sides in this league; I thought Reading were exceptional with the two midfield players playing very well and Forster up front looking very lively," he says.

"They caused us problems but that is not an insult to us to say that and we are not oblivious to that; we have to overcome sides - and on the night we did.

"It was hammer and tongs, and a fantastic game to watch; I thought Reading were very impressive in the first half and we had our chances but hung on - they were pretty sharp.

"We just changed things a bit in the second half, we got at them and had a couple of shots early on, and got the bit between the teeth - I think we deserved the three points from that.

"They didn't come to frustrate us, they came to beat us fair and square - and that made it a good boxing match as such.

"It was end to end, powerful stuff, especially in the first 20 minutes of the second half, going from one end to the other.

"It was just a case of who was going to get the knockout blow, and I bet it was entertaining for everyone watching on telly."

There is no way Teddy came to 'his' club for an easy ride, a gentle season before slipping into graceful retirement.

"I relish the challenge and I wouldn't have come here otherwise," he says, with the bright enthusiasm of a teenager.

"I live just down the road - and if I fall flat on my face I am going to have problems around home!"

No such problems, today, though, as he looks back on a goalscoring home debut thanks to Luke Chadwick's precision pass.

"It was fantastic; I couldn't have dreamed of anything better, getting a goal on my home debut and winning 1-0," he says.

"Chaddy made a big difference when he came on - sometimes it works like that.

"You could see Sergei was working really hard and it wasn't really happening for him; the manager has made a decision, brought Chaddy on, and I thought he was alive, the same as Anton when he came on as well.

"Sometimes the subs make a difference and Luke is a quality player; we have a lot of them, it is a long season, and when he came on he played his part, which is what it is all about.

"That is what you expect - or hope - from someone who comes on and that is the point of having a big squad.

Teddy is backing Marlon Harewood, substituted by Bobby Zamora two games running, to start scoring very soon, and concludes:

"It is the second game of the season; he missed a couple of chances early on that could have changed the game completely.

"I had a header that I missed as well and if we hadn't scored you'd be going home thinking 'if only'.

"But you get to understand that from years of experience and you want to do well in every game.

"But he will come good; I know he is a good player because I have seen a lot of him in pre-season and he will score goals, no doubt about that."