More Hard Work Ahead

Alan Pardew believes that hard work leads to more luck - and cites the example of the Wigan win as proof.

He jokes:

"I had all my breaks in one game with two sent off and a penalty - I couldn't believe my luck!"

Alan adds:

"We were thrilled with the result, and it was a big day for me personally and I am very pleased for the fans who have been so supportive of me.

"I have had words of encouragement from fans which I have really appreciated and I am pleased for them all.

"I am a great believer that everyone around me must work hard and we have certainly done that; I am just hoping now that we build on that and it is important we don't get carried away with the result.

"We can't rest on our laurels and think that we have cracked it; we have got a long way to go as I said after the game and I feel the balance of the side is not quite right with Matthew Etherington being injured - we lack a bit of penetration down the left.

"But it was nice to see Marlon really working the right side for us and would like to think that when Matthew comes back we will have both sides contributing chances for our strikers."

Regarding the substitution of David Connolly by Don Hutchison at half time, he explains:

"I just felt that although we were 2-0 up and a guy had been sent off, I wanted to make sure that we had plenty of width, and were keeping the ball and making chances.

"Obviously Hutch gave us something different to David and that is what I am going to have soon when everyone is available - different options.

"If I see the game differently at half time or in the second half I can change it and give our side a completely different look."

He will have even more competition up front when Jermain Defoe returns after suspension, but he is tired of hearing constant rumours that Jermain is on his way soon - as has happened again this week.

"Young players with his ability have all sorts of people trying to get a piece of them," he says, "and the advice he gets is crucial.

"I have no control over it but I hope he has good people looking after him.

"I saw Manchester United's 'second team' lose in the Carling Cup to West Brom and Jermain is a level above those players, an outstanding talent - which is why he is desirable.

"But he's not the finished article and it might be better for him to stay, play, and pick up the right little traits at West Ham.

"He is an outstanding talent and as such will always be linked with moves but I don't have to sell him, he is in my plans, and I can't wait to have him back.

"I will then have six strikers and those that are left out will be annoyed, but that is what I want to see because it means they will be motivated to get back in."

As for the trip to West Brom on Saturday so soon after the 4-3 home defeat, he adds:

"Certainly the pain is still fresh from the last time we played them, and that should inspire a few.

"West Brom are the leading contenders for promotion, I felt that at the start and I have seen no reason to change my mind, but I think our squad is as strong, certainly when we get our injured players back.

"If we are still seven points off the top at Christmas then I will be satisfied because that is a catchable distance."