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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb 27, 2007

Brooking admits Hammers need a miracle

Former West Ham manager Sir Trevor Brooking believes his old club needs to work a miracle if they are to avoid relegation from the Premiership.

Brooking, now Director of Football Development at the Football Association, spoke of his fears for the Hammers at the launch of the FA's Umbro Fives competition at the new Wembley Stadium.

West Ham sit one place off the foot of the table and lost 4-0 to relegation rivals Charlton at the weekend. They are nine points behind fourth-bottom Wigan and the chances of survival are growing slimmer.

Worried Brooking, who twice took control of the club as manager as well as having an accomplished career with them as a player, said: 'We are all worried. It's difficult for me to comment.

'It's going to be difficult when you look at the run-in. They have to go to Spurs on Sunday and they have still to play Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal.

'We are all very concerned. I go to quite a few games but it is not for me to get involved - it is a new regime now. I wish them luck and I hope some miracle happens - I think they need one.'

Defeat by Spurs at the weekend would leave Alan Curbishley's side with just nine games to haul themselves clear of the relegation zone.

The Umbro Fives is the country's most prestigious small-sided tournament, open to anyone 18 years and over, with the final to be held at the new stadium this summer.

The tournament provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for amateur players to live their dream of playing at Wembley.

England captain John Terry, still recovering from the concussion he received in Sunday's Carling Cup final triumph over Arsenal, could not attend the launch as planned.

Terry's place was taken by former England captain Alan Shearer, who said: 'With over 5,200 teams set to take part, The FA Umbro Fives really is The FA Cup of 5-a-side football.'

From next month, over 150 men's and women's qualifying heats will be held across the country - many at local competitions or at tournaments being run by county associations.

The winning teams will progress to nine regional finals which take place from the end of April until June, and the top 32 men's teams and 8 women's teams will then go on to play on the hallowed turf of the new Wembley Stadium in the national final on June 24.