McDonald backs Green to bounce back
West Ham assistant manager Neil McDonald is surprised his team will not be coming up against former charge Rob Green in Monday's trip to QPR but backed the goalkeeper to work his way back into Mark Hughes' plans.
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The 32-year-old spent six years with the Hammers before leaving this summer to join the west Londoners at the end of his contract.
Green started QPR's opening four games but, after a few shaky performances, lost his place to Inter Milan goalkeeper Julio Cesar, who has been an ever-present since the home draw with Chelsea.
The Brazilian is set to start once more against West Ham in Monday's Barclays Premier League encounter - a game in which McDonald had expected to face the goalkeeper that helped his side to promotion last season.
"Yes, of course (I am surprised) because it is early up in the season," Sam Allardyce's assistant said on Saturday.
"The two games I have seen them against Spurs and Reading they had Cesar, who seems to be a really, really good goalkeeper even though he let a few in.
"He has made a couple of good saves and he looks comfortable when it is passed back to him.
"It is disappointing for Rob, of course. He was here for a few years and he will fight for his place, no doubt.
"He is very good. He got us promoted last season and his contribution was very, very big, but he wanted to move onto pastures new.
"It hasn't worked out so far for him but, as with all players that are not in the team, he will have to work hard and keep on banging on the manager's door saying 'I'm ready, I'm ready' and wait for his chance. I am sure he will do it.
"He has moved onto a new club and he has got a fight on his hands to get his place back and I wish him all the best with that."
QPR head into the match with just one victory this season against League One side Walsall in the Capital One Cup.
They - like West Ham - were knocked out of the competition this week after failing to deal with the physicality of Reading's front line in a 3-2 defeat at Loftus Road.
Hughes' side will be expecting a similar test when West Ham come to town, although they will not have to deal with Andy Carroll as he is still missing with a hamstring injury.
"He has been progressing really, really well," McDonald said of the England international. "The game on Monday might just come a little bit too early for him.
"He needs to get a good week's training in to make sure he's fit and well so probably the target is for Arsenal."
Carroll will be joined on the sidelines by midfielder Jack Collison, who continues to struggle with a knee injury.
On-loan Yossi Benayoun could make his first start since re-joining the Hammers and Gary O'Neil is likely to return from a knee complaint sustained during the 4-1 Capital One Cup defeat to Wigan on Tuesday.
The following day West Ham were hit by the news that club legend John Bond had died aged 79.
The club will wear black armbands against QPR in tribute to the former defender, who made 444 appearances for the east Londoners.
"John Bond has been a big part of this football club," McDonald added. "He represented the club over 400 times and it is a tragic loss.
"The club will be wearing black armbands on Monday and I am sure they will do something special at the Arsenal game. We'll see how that develops.
"I am sure the fans will appreciate it because they like players who show a little bit of loyalty and give their all for the football club and he certainly did that."