Alan: We Can't Rush Steve

Alan Pardew says that while he can't wait to see Steve Lomas playing his first game for him he will not be tempted to rush him back ahead of schedule.

Steve has returned from some specialist rehabilitation in America, and Alan is delighted that he is off the treatment table and onto the grass of Chadwell Heath.

"Lomy is training now and I can't tell you how pleased I am with that," he says, "because suddenly the training ground has got a little bit more noise on it with that Irish temperament firing around the training ground.

"That will bode well for the future - he is a big, big player for us, not just with his ability, but as a person and I am really pleased to see him back on the training ground.

"Now John Green can concentrate on Rufus and hopefully we can see him back soon.

"We can't rush Steve, though - we are going to treat him nice and gently."

Rob Lee is also back at work after missing a week of action and, barring any setbacks, will return to the squad on Saturday.

He is another player, says Alan, whose character as much as ability has been missed.

"Rob is training which is a major bonus; we have missed his experience and what he brings to the camp with his character," he says.