Tough For Trialists

Alan Pardew admits it will be "a tough call" for any free agents to impress him enough to earn a contract at Upton Park - but that will not deter him from looking.

He says that Kennedy Bakircioglu is one such player that he is looking at - but says people should not jump the gun about whether he will sign or not.

"I am a little bit aggrieved by it becoming public because we had him over purely to look at him and I think we are in a position where we have to look at trialists, people who are on Bosmans.

"If we get 100 trialists in and we sign one then it is worth it - that is how I view it.

"There is no disruption to my squad because of the way I coach and everybody gets an even keel here.

"I think a big thing has been made of it, to be honest, and really it wasn't necessary - it is purely a trial.

Kennedy, of Turkish descent, has four full Sweden caps, having established a reputation at Hammarby IF for whom he has scored 35 goals in 121 games.

He can play as an attacking midfielder or centre forward and, some four years ago, was given a trial by Manchester United.

Bizarrely, he is particularly well known for 'his' performances in the Championship Manager football game, but of course it his ability in training that Alan will continue to monitor.

"He is going to train again on Friday, we have got a feel for his personality, and we will go from there," says Alan.

"The situation with trialists is that some have got more chance than others and I suggest this guy's pedigree gives him a little more chance than most.

"But it is still a tough call to come over and earn a contract at a club like West Ham - you have got to be a special, special, player to play here.

"That is the only kind of player that I want to sign - special ones who I think are worthy of wearing the claret and blue."

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