Christian's Delight

Christian Dailly says West Ham did well to overcome Wolves on Sunday missing EIGHT senior players - while Alan Pardew is amazed that Rotherham on Saturday is a sell-out.

Talking of the fourth round FA cup win - achieved without Tomas Repka, Rufus Brevett, Don Hutchison, Rob Lee, Jermain Defoe, Steve Lomas, Neil Mellor, and Richard Garcia - Christian says:

"I thought we did well, kept it well, created a few chances, and played some really good stuff.

"In the second half we had to stay resilient and they were hitting a lot of long balls.

"But if they did get through Stevie Bywater was there doing excellently.

"But it is feet on the ground stuff because although we want to win the cup we want to keep progressing as a team, and we feel that win was another good step for us."

He was aware that the week before West Ham had let slip an away game in which they scored three goals, and he adds:

"There was no way we wanted to let it slip again and what I definitely think you will find is, that with the changes that have been made, over the next few weeks with the team playing together more and more the young lads will take even more responsibility.

"They have got to play now and they have got to do it; they will get more lively around the training ground and it is good to see them with the type of confidence they showed on Sunday.

"It is sort of a new team there and we will become even more resilient but we have already been this season, especially away from home.

"It is just a matter of keeping that belief and doing it in front of our home fans as well; we have to keep the ball and I definitely think we are showing signs of progressing.

"Wolves have been great at home and you only have to look at their last two results before us which have been fantastic.

"It was no easy game so it was nice to come through and win - and I am really looking forward to the draw for the next round."

Wolves were without Alex Rae, considered to be their best player this year, and Christian thinks, even at his age, he should be in the Scotland side.

"He is a really good player," says Christian, "but they have good players to come in and we were missing good players such as Tomas Repka with the flu.

"Hayden Mullins did excellent coming in at centre back and everyone has their own problems with who can play and who can't play, so we are just pleased we won the game.

"I think they had illness and injuries as well but let's face it, every player they had out there is a Premiership player so I don't see that as an excuse at all."

Christian says beating a Premiership side was a massive boost and adds:

"It was great for us and it was great for the fans; what a noise 5,000 fans were making - it was all you could hear when you were playing.

"It really makes a difference to us when we have got them behind us.

"We have had a good week this week working really hard on a few things, and it worked really well at Wolves."

Part of the training in the week included a bit of light sparring at the Reebok centre on Wednesday, and Christian insists:

"My boxing is no problem - I am a natural!"

As for the arrival of Peter Grant as Alan Pardew's assistant, he adds:

"I used to play against him when I was at Dundee United and he was at Celtic; he is going to be great to have on the training ground because he is really lively and a winner - and you need as many of them about the place as you can get.

"He has got great banter as well, and I will be able to do the translating...

"Anyone who knew him as a player will tell you he was hard as nails - and he is still like that.

"But I haven't got any scars from him because I used to flit from up front to the middle to defence."

Christian has already welcomed Adam Nowland and Nigel Reo-Coker to Upton Park and he adds:

"They did a warm-up on Sunday and I think everyone that comes here finds it easy to settle in; there are a lot of good guys here.

"The longer the season goes on the more confident we think we are that we will get results.

"What it is, is progression and going from strength to strength - and we are not getting carried away with one result.

"It is a win, and we are pleased, but we always hope we can win every game we play and although it is a good result we have got a big game against Rotherham next week at home - and that is every bit as important."

Rotherham is next up and a reminder of the exaggerated stories about West Ham supposedly not wanting to get changes in the Millmoor dressing room.

"We had no qualms about theirs; that was all nothing," he says.

"They have been doing pretty well recently with some good results getting them up the table so that is going to be a tough game.

"We just have to show that confidence to keep the ball at home and I think if we do that the fans will always be on our side.

"You have to show resilience, composure, and commitment even if the other team are on top."

Christian had yet another centre half partner on Sunday; following in the footsteps of Ian Pearce, Tomas Repka, and Andy Melville was Hayden Mullins, and Christian enthuses:

"Hayden was fantastic, I have got to say, and he is going to be so vital to us in so many different positions.

"Andy Melville and Tomas Repka are good players as well.

"We only had one day to think about playing together because we weren't sure if Tomas was going to be fit; it was a case of just talking each other through it.

"I knew Hayden could do it because he used to play there quite a bit for Palace - and he showed great athleticism."

Alan Pardew agrees with his new assistant Peter Grant's 'reach for the stars' edict and says:

"It is going to be a difficult call for us to win the cup but you approach every tournament with a belief you can - and not just make up the numbers.

"No one could fault us against Wolves because we played really well and thoroughly deserved our place in the next round."

West Ham were the last side outside the top flight to win the FA cup with Trevor Brooking - who, along with Rio Ferdinand, was at the game and went in the dressing room afterwards to congratulate the players - scoring the goal and Alan adds:

"People keep talking about 1980 - but I wouldn't say it was a millstone around my neck or anything like that; there is, though, a tradition about us and hopefully the fifth round draw will be kind and give us a home tie."

That was not the hope of all the Hammers' fans after the game, knowing that it is nine away games without defeat, a record extended against a side who had not lost at home since September.

"There's a buzz about the place at the moment, training is doubly lively and all the players who went out there were determined to do well, adds Alan.

Meanwhile, talking about Jermain Defoe, Alan confirms what we told you on Saturday - that there has been no bid for his services from Spurs.

"David Pleat has not rung to speak to me about Jermain and there's been no official bid received," Alan reiterates.

"I told Jermain I would inform him if there were any bids so he would be the first to know, but he is still very much a West Ham player.

"I'd like to think he's coming into an environment now which will make him want to stay, because we've got some good young players at the club; we do have players who can play in the Premiership, there is no doubt about that, and we have got a good spirit and collectiveness.

"The competition for places is there now and the guys who played at Wolves knew they're not guaranteed a place this Saturday - they probably felt that, so they put in a great performance.

"I' would like to think we can be a real threat from now on in because after Wolves we have Reo-Coker, Nowland, Tomas Repka and Andy Melville all available."

The next challenge, is, of course, to win at home and Alan adds:

"Away from home we've been terrific this season, the one issue we have in this team is our home form, where sometimes the onus can change.

"For Wolves yesterday they faced us having played Manchester United and Liverpool - when they had to defend deep to get their results.

"The onus was on them to come at us; that is a different proposition and that's what we've got to master ourselves at home.

"The bottom line for us is that we've got to sort out our home form - if we can do that then we're going to be a threat in this division.

"We are already sold out for Rotherham on Saturday; I just cannot believe that after what we've served up at home this year - but that shows you the strength we've got in our fan base.

"That's a fantastic response from our supporters - and I hope on Saturday we give them the type of performance we've been giving away from home for most of the year."