West Ham 'need a bit of luck', says Reo-Coker

Nigel Reo-Coker has rejected suggestions that he is part of a "Baby Bentley" culture at West Ham United, insisting: "I'm still on the same deal that I was when we were promoted."

The 22-year-old midfielder has suffered a dip in form after impressing last season, one of the problems which has led to the Upton Park club facing a battle against relegation from the Premiership.

West Ham fans have jeered the England Under-21 international and he has received abusive mail, with accusations that he is one of the young players who have got carried away with one successful season in the top flight.

But Reo-Coker refuses to accept that his team-mates are comfortable on their Premiership contracts.

"I've heard the criticism so many times about players not being hungry because of the financial rewards we get but I don't know where the information comes from," he said. "I have no fat contract. I'm still on the same deal that I was when we were promoted. Other players have had improvements and if I wanted to be a problem I could have gone in and demanded this and that all the time - I haven't done that."

Before his dismissal as manager, Alan Pardew revealed that West Ham's new owners have a financial plan for every eventuality, including relegation, which would lead to players' contracts being revised if the club drop back into the Championship.

Alan Curbishley, who took over from Pardew, highlighted a lack of hunger following the 6-0 thrashing at Reading on New Year's Day and famously mentioned the "Baby Bentley".

Reo-Coker reacted angrily to abuse from fans following Saturday's defeat to Watford in the FA Cup, but he believes it shows his determination.

"To a certain degree I regret getting involved but I'm only human," he said. "For me, if I had not reacted it would have shown more that I didn't care. We're being accused of a lack of commitment by some and that is just not true. We're working so hard at the training ground and we just need a bit of luck."

The Republic of Ireland manager Steve Staunton yesterday named seven uncapped players in a 24-man squad for the Euro 2008 Group D qualifier in San Marino next Wednesday. "I knew when I took the job that there were young players with the potential to play international football," Staunton said in a statement. "It is up to them now to show me that they should be in the starting 11."

The Charlton Athletic reserve goalkeeper Darren Randolph is among those with a chance to win their first cap as the usual keeper Shay Given is out with a groin injury. Also missing with hamstring injuries are the Charlton midfielder Andy Reid and Reading's Kevin Doyle. Returning after lengthy recoveries from injuries are Levante's Ian Harte and Newcastle United's Stephen Carr. Ireland are fifth in the seven-team group.

* England's Under-19 clash with Poland at Bournemouth on 6 February is a 10,500 sell-out. The Football Association has confirmed that all tickets for the game at the Fitness First Stadium have been sold.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen