Alan Backs Anton

Alan Pardew is backing Anton Ferdinand to continue progressing at Upton Park, even though he has not been in the first team of late.

"Unfortunately for him he is going to be high profile whatever he does because of his brother," says Alan.

"He suffers when Rio suffers and there is a lot of pressure on him.

"He has great technical ability; whenever he plays he is going to be under added pressure and after the Tottenham game it was very harsh on him, but to be honest he might grow up that bit faster.

"We hope as a player he develops - he is big enough and strong enough.

"He has got traits of his brother, which is obviously always going to be brought up, but I don't like talking about shadows or anything like that.

"They are a strong family, he has been brought up the right way, and I hope he comes through as well as his brother."

Alan likes the 'senior' young players, as it were, to get match practice in the reserves, and he explains:

"The young pros, I feel, certainly need to play every week - there are bright young prospects in there - and the option I always do is to play them.

"They have got to get match experience, people like Anton Ferdinand - they have to make those errors in those games.

"It is especially important with defenders that they get as many games as possible; it is not so vital with flair players, and you can see that with Wayne Rooney and Milner at Leeds - up the pitch don't really do you any damage."

Alan sees speed as a 'must-have' for the modern defender and says:

"I like defenders to have pace and even when they make errors that can get you out of trouble; it is a major asset for a defender - Matthew Upson showed that when he came to Reading."