From the Newsroom - Matty Lawless

The MailOnline deputy sports editor Matty Lawless speaks to West Ham United legend Sir Trevor Brooking
The MailOnline deputy sports editor Matty Lawless speaks to West Ham United legend Sir Trevor Brooking...

The clock is ticking at West Ham. Just 18 home league games left before it is time to say farewell to the Boleyn Ground.

But legend Sir Trevor Brooking insists the long goodbye will not be a burden on Slaven Bilic’s side, despite last weekend’s defeat by Leicester.

After a stunning opening day Premier League win at Arsenal, the Hammers came crashing down to the in-form Foxes.

Goalkeeper Adrian was sent off to compound the 2-1 loss and will now miss the next three league games. 

That suspension starts on Saturday with summer signing Darren Randolph set to deputise against Bournemouth - the team who have scored 16 goals in their last three games against the Republic of Ireland international.

Brooking, who last summer retired from his role as The FA’s director of football development, concedes the newly-promoted side will be hungry to get off the mark in east London in what will be a ‘tough’ game for his beloved West Ham.

"I looked at it at the start of the season and thought you need at least four points from those opening three games - it would be nice to get six,’ he said, speaking exclusively to Sportsmail. 

"Bournemouth will be tough. Their away form was good last year and they need to try and pick up some early points.’

After losing to Leicester, West Ham are keen to bounce back to winning ways.

New boy Pedro Obiang is likely to replace 16-year-old Reece Oxford in midfield but boss Bilic is expected to stick to a relatively unchanged side on Saturday.

Legend Brooking, who enjoyed 19 years as a player at Upton Park, is backing the new West Ham manager to oversee a safe transition to the Olympic Stadium for next season.

‘I don’t think it will a burden playing here in the final season,’ added the 66-year-old, as he visited the West Ham supporters’ club to hand out new home shirts to fans before the Leicester game as part of club sponsor Betway’s ‘Pride in the shirt’ campaign.

‘I think there will be a positive atmosphere because of what’s around the corner. 

'The players want to be successful in however long they are here at West Ham. They’re looking for the moment and the moment for them is now. 

‘So I don’t think they’ll be worried about past heritage and history. They’ll only be bothered in trying to be successful from their own point of view. That’s what the modern game is about and we would want nothing more from the players who Slaven has signed. 

‘We want them to do well because it means the club will do well. I don’t think that there will be any distractions. For quite a few players, it’s just another season.

‘Most important, of course, over the next 12 months is to make sure that when they go to the new stadium, they are going to be in the Premier League.’

Although he says it won’t be a burden playing at home, Brooking admits it will be a massive wrench when the time comes to say goodbye.

Born and bred just a stone’s throw away in Barking, Brooking turned down Chelsea and Tottenham when he signed terms as a schoolboy for manager Ron Greenwood in 1965.

And the man whose header brought West Ham’s last silverware success in 1980, revealed he has ‘no regrets’ about spending almost two decades in claret and blue despite turning down the likes of Brian Clough at Derby, Liverpool and Hamburg.

‘Yes, Cloughie wanted me when Derby came in for Bobby Moore. But Ron said he would resign if the club allowed to let both of us go, so that didn’t happen. Cloughie was interesting because he was a marvellous character. It would have meant me moving to the Midlands. 

‘Liverpool was another club when Kevin Keegan was there and then Hamburg when he went out there. 

‘If you’re happy where you are, and obviously I had a strong affinity with the club, I can look back now and say I never really regretted staying 19 years at the club.

'But I think anyone who has been through the era that I have, as a player or a fan or whatever, will be sad to leave the Boleyn, you’ve got to say that. 

‘There are so many memories and it is where all our history has evolved. Having said that, there are many plusses to moving to the new stadia in Stratford. So, I couldn’t possibly disagree with the decision that they’ve taken.

‘I think West Ham are certainly capable of attracting over 50,000 but it will be a reflection of the team and how they are performing there.’

Sir Trevor Brooking was speaking as part of principal sponsor Betway’s #PrideInYourShirt campaign.