Goddard stays tight-lipped

PAUL Goddard has refused to discuss whether he intends to take over as manager at West Ham after the departure of his friend and boss Glenn Roeder, writes Derek Davis.

PAUL Goddard has refused to discuss whether he intends to take over as manager at West Ham after the departure of his friend and boss Glenn Roeder, writes Derek Davis.

Ian Dowie, Steve Cotterill and Tony Cottee have all publicly said they would like the job, while Bryan Robson and George Graham have also been linked, but Goddard is staying silent.

Goddard, who left his post as academy director at Ipswich Town to become Roeder's assistant, will stay on as assistant to caretaker-manager Trevor Brooking for tonight's home game against Bradford City and Saturday's visit to Portman Road.

Last night he spoke highly of the man who took him to Upton Park, then fought back following a brain tumour earlier this year.


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The former West Ham, Newcastle United and Millwall striker said: "No one has worked harder at this football club than Glenn – he is a good person and his courage in coming back after the illness he suffered goes without saying."

Roeder was dismissed on Sunday after the 1-0 defeat at Rotherham left the Hammers with just one win in their first three games since relegation.

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Goddard also played down the fuss made after the players used their hotel to change rather than the Rotherham dressing rooms.

He said: "There is nothing to be made of it; it is a small area and it just made sense to get half changed at the hotel.

"We always planned to do it; it was not a problem with no 'snub' intended.

"Squads nowadays, with the medical people you carry, need a little bit of room, but we knew what it was going to be like and we prepared.

"The pitch was fine, there was a bit of a slope, but there are no excuses there.

"We were very disappointed in the first-half performance which was certainly the worst performance given this pre-season or during it – it was dreadful.

"We knew what we were going to be facing and we just didn't compete enough to face that."

Michael Carrick has returned from injury and should be fit for Saturday's game against Ipswich, while loanees Matthew Kilgallon, from Leeds United, and Liverpool's Neil Mellor are expected to see their agreements out.

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