Dev calls for commitment

Alan Devonshire believes instilling a positive attitude in the West Ham United squad will be the main task for the club's new manager.

The Hammers are currently searching for the man to take the club forward and Devonshire, who was appointed as manager of Blue Square Bet Premier new-boys Braintree Town this week, knows the making the right appointment will be vital to the club's future.

Having endured two difficult seasons and been relegated to from the Barclays Premier League, the former West Ham and England midfielder has told West Ham TV that a change in mindset is needed if the Hammers are to bounce back and be promoted at the first attempt.

"When I played, you trained as you played so it [working hard] became a habit. If you needed a kick up the backside you got it, or if you needed an arm around you then you got it.

"I worked under good managers like John Lyall and bad managers and, at the end of the day, they have to pick the best things.

"Man managing the players is the main thing. You've got to get inside their heads and work out what makes them tick, do the right things for them to get them out on the pitch in the right frame of mind.

"I'm distraught about it, to be honest."

Devonshire himself suffered the disappointment of relegation in 1977/78 and, more than 30 years later, the feelings are just the same this time around.

The 55-year-old helped fire the Hammers back to the top-flight the following season, enjoying an outstanding season in Division Two and winning the 1979 Hammer of the Year award.

Just as West Ham showed back then, Devonshire insists hard work is the pre-requisite to gaining promotion next term.

"I'm gutted, absolutely gutted. Half a dozen games before the end I thought we were going to get out of it, but our performances haven't been good enough all season and we're down.

"I started in non-league but I was here from the age of 20 and was brought up here and was here for a long time, for 14 years, and the one thing the fans want is commitment. They want players who give 110 per cent.

"Being a professional footballer is the best job in the world, take it from me, and if you can't give 110 per cent then there is something wrong with you.

"It's just been a really disappointing season and I'm just gutted for everyone at the club, especially the fans."