Sam Allardyce has faced the press before Saturday's trip to Doncaster Rovers and spoke for the first time at length about his two new recruits.
The manager said his team were determined to bounce back after the opening-day disappointment. His plans were frustrated by the midweek postponement of the Carling Cup tie with Aldershot but he said it least meant any new injuries were avoided.
How difficult was it to have the match postponed in midweek?
SA: We were disappointed [Aldershot was postponed] but we understand it. It was not that there was any issue around the football. It was just there weren't enough numbers available to police it. Everyone looks forward to the start of a new season and then obviously the players and manager as well. What can you do? You just have to wait for the next game to come along, however disappointing it is.
How has it affected your plans?
SA: For me, it would have been about looking at the players that were available and one or two of the younger ones. I have missed that opportunity now. I haven't got as big a selection process as I might have. If players had played it would have given them match practice and an opportunity to show what they can do. Unfortunately that has not been the case.
We have kept them all fit which is very good and just waiting to hear if Pablo [Barrera] is OK. It is just the cost of the journey on him [back from Philadelphia with Mexico]. We will weigh that up in the next day or so.
Important for football to take a stand on what is going on around the country?
SA: Football has a responsibility off the field as well as on it. You are representing the greatest sport in the world. Certainly the Championship is one of the biggest leagues in the world now, we know the Premier League is the biggest but in terms of a spectator sport our division is one of the biggest in Europe. We have a responsibility because of the coverage we get and that is something the players know and we talk to them about. The younger player when he gets in the first team has to think about the club as well and how he handles himself. Others will look at him and want to be him, for the right reasons and not the wrong ones. It is all in our code of conduct on how we are disciplined and how you must take responsibility on and off the pitch.
Any bids for Green, Parker and Cole?
SA: There have been no bids recently. We hope that will continue. The players are committed to the football club… I was only disappointed in the result last Sunday, not the performance.
You've signed John Carew. How is he doing?
SA: We have just got to get his physical condition right and get him ready to go into the demands of the Championship. Once he is right, he will be a major asset to us.
And George McCartney. Can you talk about his return?
SA: There are two things with that one. One is that he is a very good player that has lost his way in the last season or so. Secondly the fact that looking back at his history at West Ham he was a popular player and a very good one . We have secured an opportunity for the player and the club to come together and be as good as we used to be. We used to be in the Premier League, hopefully he can help us get back there and then he can secure a full-time contract with us.
Thoughts on Doncaster?
SA: It is a very nice stadium particularly compared to the old one. While a small stadium, it is nicely designed, lovely pitch and the team is well supported. The chairman and Sean O'Driscoll have done an outstanding job at Doncaster and as always do not get the credit they actually deserve. For a small club with its history to have stayed it the Championship as long as they have is a regular and constant overachievement. With everyone working hard together, you can reap the benefit. Sometimes you don't have the best financial status but you can breed success with continuity, loyalty and the backing of each other. That is a perfect example of chairman and manager working together for the benefit of everybody.
Team's away record has been poor in recent history?
SA: Worse than poor! It is a massive pressure on ourselves as early as game two. Instead of securing a result against Cardiff, we don't have anything, so you go to Doncaster trying to make up for that as quickly as we can. Getting no points at home means you have to make up with a win away somewhere. That has to come at the earliest possible time. We do have to overcome the awayday blues at West Ham. It really is a big problem over the last couple of years.
Everyone has faith in you and the players seem very positive?
SA: I would be disappointed if they lost faith after one result! I am a great believer in what is the right way and the right thing to do and to guide the players through the more difficult periods. It is easier to remind players what to do when things are going well but not to lose their focus on one bad result. Keep the eye on the performance. We want to improve on that and the result. But what we have got to do to stop hysteria is to keep calm and win football matches. We have to win them home and away as quickly as possible.