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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 April, 2003, 09:07 GMT 10:07 UK
Hammers appoint Brooking
Trevor Brooking
Brooking has three games to save West Ham

Trevor Brooking has been appointed caretaker manager of West Ham in the absence of Glenn Roeder.

Hammers legend Brooking, who is a BBC pundit, will take charge of the side for the final three games of the season as the London club battle to avoid relegation.

Roeder is recovering at the Royal London Hospital after suffering a blocked blood vessel in his brain.

The Hammers boss remains in a "stable" condition, but will not return for any of West Ham's remaining three Premiership games.

HAMMERS' REMAINING GAMES
27 Apr Man C (A)
3 May Chelsea (H)
11 May Birmingham (A)

In his absence, Brooking will be responsible for team selection and news conferences.

"Everyone wants to give it everything in the next two-and-a-half weeks - and that is what we are going to do," said Brooking.

"It would be a huge anti-climax to go out with a whimper, and, although it has been a very difficult few days, we have got to steel ourselves for these two-and-a-half weeks."

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The West Ham board confirmed in a statement that assistant manager Paul Goddard and coach Roger Cross will continue to look after matters on the training pitch.

"All of the existing coaching staff will remain in their current positions, and are fully supportive of both this temporary appointment and the club's determination to finish the season above the relegation zone," the statement read.

"The spirit is good and I know myself how hard Glenn has worked to put a structure in place, with Paul and Roger on the coaching side," added Brooking.

"We wanted to keep that going. If we were mid-table, with two or three games to go, Roger and Paul would have seen out the season."

PREMIERSHIP BASEMENT
16 Fulham 41 points
17 Bolton 39 points

18 W Ham 35 points
19 W Brom 24 points
20 Su'land 19 points

John Motson, Brooking's partner in the BBC commentary box, believes West Ham have made a wise choice in appointing the former England international as caretaker manager.

"Trevor is well respected in the dressing room because he has been there and done it," Motson told the Evening Standard.

"I know that he went into the dressing room not long after they had lost 7-1 to Blackburn early last season and gave the players a real pep talk which was greatly appreciated.

"While Trevor's intervention wasn't the only reason, West Ham's season showed huge improvement. They had been struggling until that point but ended up seventh."

West Ham are third from bottom and know that realistically they must win at least two of their remaining three games to have a chance of retaining their Premiership status.

Brooking's first decision could surround whether or not to recall Paolo di Canio for Sunday's match against Kevin Keegan's side.

The Italian has been frozen out after criticising Roeder following the win at West Bromwich Albion in February.

But with the Hammers desperate for a win at Maine Road, the emergency managerial team could turn to the flamboyant Italian.




WATCH AND LISTEN
Caretaker West Ham manager Trevor Brooking
"Paulo DiCanio will be in contention if he is fit"


West Ham goalkeeper David James
"Trevor said the expected - we need three wins"



WEST HAM UNITED

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