We Couldn't Miss Chris

Peter Grant says the squad needed additions to the left hand side and that is why West Ham swooped to get Chris Powell's services when he became available.

Chris' signing, in the nick of time of the 5 o'clock deadline to be able to play at Sheffield United if he is required, made it three defenders in two days for the club, and Peter says:

"It has been hectic but we always say we need to get better and more consistent - and we know we have not been playing well.

"People saw in the Southend game how thin on the ground we were with experienced players, now Chris Cohen is suspended, and you have to remember Rufus has been out for a year.

"So we have to make sure we are not going to be caught out during this very important period when we have a lot of games in a short space of time.

"With Chris Cohen suspended and Steve as well we needed to bolster the squad and we would have been a bit weak if anything happened to Mattie Etherington or Rufus.

"Seeing Chris was available on a loan gave us a good opportunity to get him and competition brings out the best in people; you see that in training because there are new faces there and that always brings a fresh impetus.

"People who are already there want to prove how good they are and those that come in want to show they are worthy of representing West Ham United.

"When all is said and done the best players will keep their positions, that's for sure."

Peter has no worries about Chris' age - 34 - and adds:

"He got his England caps very late and I think that says a lot about him; people look at age but that means nothing - it depends how players look after themselves.

"Gordon Strachan won a Premiership medal when he was 39 or 40 because he looked after his fitness and his body.

"There is no doubt Chris has done that and we think he is a very worthwhile addition to the squad."