Frank Backs Alan

Frank McAvennie is backing Alan Pardew to steer West Ham back into the top flight - and says the fans have been magnificent despite relegation.

"I just want to see them back where they belong and it has been a testing time for the fans; they have a moan but they are still there every week - there are not many supporters in the world like them.

"It is obviously not good for the supporters the way things have gone and Alan may have inherited more problems than he thought, especially going 3-0 up and losing 4-3 as they did on Saturday.

"I think he will have to make changes, that is for sure, and we all hope he can make the right ones.

"It is a cruel game that doesn't give you a lot of time but everyone is behind him - I hope he gets it right and turns it round.

"That is one good thing in that when you go down there is a parachute payment which helps them out - though if you don't come back straight away that is when you could be in trouble.

"But, no matter how you look at it, West Ham is a big club with good players and to get good players you have to pay good wages to get back up.

"If we go back up he will have to change the squad again, that is for sure; my heart says we will go back up, but as for my head...

"The good thing about it that I have noticed is that without having the best of results they are still up there - it could be worse with the string of results they have had.

"I know Alan is working hard to put things right; only time will tell but I wish him all the best, that is for sure."

Frank will team up with Tony Cottee for the first time in well over a decade, in what of course was a professional engagement, when he plays for the Boys of '86 at Thurrock on Sunday [kick off 2 o'clock] and he enthuses:

"It will be the first time for about 15 years; the crowd won't be as big as it used to be but it will be good fun and nice to play up front with Tony again.

"We haven't played together in all that time; there was a Masters tournament one time but he came off and I replaced him, it wasn't two of us together.

"So I will be doing his running for him again then I will give it to him and he will score."

Billy Bonds is also playing in the absence of Ray Stewart who will be performing his duties as Forfar manager that day and Frank says:

"Is Bonzo playing? I hope he doesn't kick me, I am looking forward to it, and if Ray can't play, well...Bonzo will be fitter anyway, and perhaps he can go up front and do my running for me.

"It is always good to see the boys and it is always as if we have never been apart; as soon as you walk in the dressing room we slaughter each other."

Frank's book, 'Scoring - An Expert's Guide' is still selling and Frank says:

"It is in Safeways next week so that is good."

There is also a limited edition signed, numbered, print of Frank available entitled 'There's Only One McAvennie' available at £36 plus £5.75 special delivery postage and packing to anywhere in the UK.

If you would like to order one, call 0800 783 3042.