Peter On Carl

Peter Grant feels sure that Carl Fletcher will flourish at Upton Park once he settles in - and says he has the personality to make the step up from Dean Court.

"He is a quality player, there is no doubt about it, he has been captain of Bournemouth since I think he was 19 and that says a lot about Carl.

"He has also broken into the Wales squad when Bournemouth were in the third division and it is not an easy squad to get into, especially in the midfield area where there are a lot of Premiership players in there," enthuses Peter.

"He is involved in the squad in the next two games, the World Cup qualifiers, and I think that says much about his ability."

West Ham were by no means the only club chasing his signature and Peter adds: "I am just surprised we have had the opportunity because I thought more people would have been involved.

"I know a lot of clubs were sniffing about but we managed to get the nod and we have managed to get a quality player for the club."

Peter feels the fans will take to Carl and adds:

"The type of football Carl likes to play is the only type of football he can play, and West Ham require a certain kind of player.

"You can like certain types of players but they have to fit into the system you are trying to play - and I know for a fact that Carl Fletcher is very comfortable in possession, he has got a great range of passing, can tackle, and he the biggest thing is he has a winning mentality; he plays to win and he trains to win and that is the attitude you need.

"He scored two goals for us as a centre back in the play off finals against Lincoln when we beat them 5-2 at the Millennium Stadium - and the bigger the game, the bigger his performance, and he captained the side then.

"He still wants to improve and he will get better and better and there is no doubt he can handle this jump up.

"We will see a very good player who can make the step up; not all players can, but I think, like Jon Stead last year when he went to the Premiership, Carl can."

Peter disputes popular theory that there is little talent in the Leagues One and Two and he says:

"I don't think we should be frightened of looking in the lower divisions because there are a heck of a lot of good young players - but they have to be given the chance.

"West Ham took a chance with Ian Bishop when he came from Bournemouth and hopefully Carl can be as good a player as Ian was.

"I think Carl will improve the quality in the squad and we are always looking at players to try and make the team better."

Carl is versatile as well, and Peter adds:

"Carl can play midfield or at the back so that is a plus for us, but the most important thing for us is that he is a very good footballer with a good football brain for a young man.

"Big game awareness is a vital part of a good player's make-up and he has definitely got that.

"Now he has gone up a level and I am sure that once he has got his feet under the table he will be a big asset for the club.

"And I hope we can bring in others to join him and make the squad better.