Di Canio unhappy at failure to spend

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The Independent Football

The West Ham striker Paolo Di Canio insists he is still unhappy at the club's failure to make new signings as they prepare for today's daunting trip to Anfield.

The Hammers face Liverpool on the opening day of the Premiership season without their one big-money summer signing, David James, who was injured playing for England in midweek. And that leaves Di Canio concerned about the team's ability to challenge for honours in the new season.

The controversial Italian has already gone on record criticising the appointment of Glenn Roeder as manager. And although he was reassured by the club that they would sign three top outfield players by the start of the season, it has not happened yet.

He said: ''If I said I was very happy, I would be a liar because things have still not changed from the things I said two months ago.

''I said two months ago we needed three more players because I wanted to be honest about how I felt. I know it gets me into trouble but that doesn't bother me.

''I hope we can find some as soon as possible because we are not playing in the Albanian League and will need a big squad to compete.

''It is important we try to win something now. I know the club are looking for quality players and I have to trust and believe them, but we will just have to wait and see what happens in the next few weeks.''

Di Canio also revealed he could have left Upton Park in the summer, but insists he will remain to repay the support he has received from the club's fans since joining in 1999.

He added: ''I had a lot of offers during the summer to move to another club, but I don't want to leave West Ham because I am 33 and there is no more time for me to move up and down England or back to Italy.''

Jaap Stam's advisors insist his controversial new autobiography will not damage his Manchester United career. Among revelations serialised in a tabloid newspaper this week, the Dutch defender accused manager Sir Alex Ferguson of "tapping him up" before he had signed him from PSV Eindhoven and also claimed Ferguson told his players to dive in Europe.

Stam also made disparaging comments about his United team-mates, Dwight Yorke and Gary and Phil Neville. Stam's agent, Michael Williams, said: ''I don't think this will have any effect on his career. The way Jaap has conducted himself over the years with Manchester United has been exemplary."

Stam was set to officially launch his book Head to Head next week, but now his publishers have delayed it.

After initially backing the idea, the Football League has ruled that it will not accept the winners of the Nationwide Conference's proposed play-off system into the Third Division. A Football League spokesman, John Nagle, said: ''Under League rules only the champions of the Conference can be promoted into the Football League."