Trevor On Tie

Trevor Brooking reckons Fulham will find it tough against a resurgent West Ham side on Tuesday night.

"It will be tough for Fulham in the replay if West Ham continue to play with the confidence that Alan is now installing in the team," he says.

"It was good to see the lads play so well in the first tie at Fulham.

"Sven came along and he was very impressed; he felt West Ham played very well.

"I thought it was a good all-round performance and naturally the defence did well.

"Stephen in goal looks really good at the moment, Michael Carrick is getting better and better and really looks back to his best.

"Matthew Etherington did well against Volz, the right back, because he charges forward in attacking situations a lot but Matthew kept taking him away and occupying him, which was important to help West Ham get the result.

"I thought West Ham deserved a draw at the very worst; Van der Sar played very well and made a couple of excellent saves, particularly from Michael Carrick late on, and so all in all I think West Ham could take a lot of confidence from how they are playing at the moment."

Trevor is suitably diplomatic when looking back on the late decision which may have 'cost' West Ham at Loftus Road when Graham Poll chose not to play the advantage as Matthew Etherington broke clear in the final seconds.

"It is easy to sit up there and say it was a bad decision; it happened so quickly I was surprised the whistle went so quick," he says.

"Naturally there was an opportunity to play the advantage and I think Graham later said he perhaps could have waited, but who knows if Matt would have gone on to score.

"At the time it was frustrating but it was a good draw and a good bit of revenue for the club."

The original tie with Fulham was the first time the two teams had met in competition since the FA cup final of 1975, and Trevor smiles:

"I saw a photo the other day of the Englebert Humperdinck hair cuts and I think I was ruffling the hair of Alan Taylor, who of course got two goals in the final.

"It is a bit scary when you think it is the best part of 30 years ago!"

For the replay, Trevor knows that several players are ineligible - seven, to be precise - but feels that Alan Pardew has sufficient quality to cope.

"It is a selection problem that a West Ham manager hasn't had for a while and with the point at Norwich West Ham are on a real run," he says.

As for his new role at the FA, he concludes:

"I am enjoying the job; it is interesting and there are plenty of meetings, but it is going quite quickly."