Green keen to bring on United

Robert Green is expecting both the team and the crowd to play their part when Manchester United come to the Boleyn Ground on Saturday.

The England goalkeeper was speaking after the 1-1 draw against Reading on Boxing Day that saw West Ham United fail to make a man advantage count for the last hour of the game. However, Green is confident that Alan Curbishley's side, who have nevertheless jumped to tenth in the table, will again show they are capable of coping with the elite sides.

"We have played well against teams from the top," Green said. "We had a good game against Chelsea earlier this season and were disappointed to lose it. It was a little bit flat today and hopefuly the fans will be really up for Saturday. We need to lift the crowd and it is a two-way thing."

The Reading draw was yet another example where the team has been unable to replicate the outstanding away form - as seen in Saturday's 2-1 win at Middlesbrough - in front of the home support, and Green admitted he was both "disappointed" and "frustrated" at the way events panned out on Wednesday.

As in previous drawn fixtures, the visitors defended in numbers as soon as they had the equalising goal - asking questions of the home attack. "It was something that typifies our season at home so far. The problem of the man going off just accentuated the difficulties we have during the course of the game when trying to break teams down - they make it particularly hard for you."

While admitting that "Reading worked fantastically hard", Green said more could have been done to keep out Dave Kitson's goal, which cancelled out Nolberto Solano's effort just before half-time. "Against ten men you are thinking that realistically the only chances they are going to create are from set-pieces and that's the time when you want to defend and we didn't. And we didn't on Saturday against Middlesbrough as well.

"There are some goals you say well done, hold your hands up and things like that. You are going to concede goals over the course of a season but you want to keep goals like today and the one on Saturday down to a minimum. Two in two games is too many.

"We have got to defend well. We have got to play well. In some ways a game like today is more difficult than playing against Manchester United because there your mind is made up. Here a lot was imposed on to us by them sitting back and them making it hard for us. Against United, it is going to be a diffferent ball game."