Duo Return

Hayden Mullins and Don Hutchison return to the West Ham squad for the weekend, but Steve Lomas is not quite ready.

All three played in the reserves' win over Ipswich on Wednesday.

Anton Ferdinand is also ruled out with a continued hamstring problem, but West Ham's trio of players that were on international duty in the week - Christian Dailly, Andy Melville, and Nigel Reo-Coker - have all returned safe and sound.

Jobi McAnuff is doubtful with a hamstring problem.

Steve Bywater plays his last game before a two match suspension over Easter.

For Reading, Marcus Hahnemann is still out; left back Nicky Shorey, son of Steve, who works at the Academy, has a foot problem; Dean Gordon, on loan from Coventry, is likely to make his debut; Lloyd Owusu returns from a three game suspension; and Paul Brooker, who has signed on loan from Leicester City, could feature.

With Alan Pardew going back to his old club for the first time, the focus of media attention has naturally been on the wisdom of his decision to move.

"I know I haven't got the greatest of results at West Ham but all the staff have given me respect and that has helped," he says.

"The big issue for me here so far was the Jermain Defoe one and if you take into account all the games we missed him through suspension, you could say that if he had played we would be higher up the table - and possibly in the top two.

"Everything Trevor Brooking told me to expect was accurate - he painted a true picture of things.

"Millwall was the low spot, and it will haunt me - we just didn't look right or organised on the day.

"There have been some ups and downs, but more downs than I would have liked."

As for his return, he adds:

"I am very excited about going back there - I enjoyed my time at Reading and the club is still close to my heart, but I am proud to return as West Ham manager.

"I expect a rough ride but I hope it doesn't affect the job; I will be on the edge of my technical area where I always work but will move back if it becomes an issue.

"Steve Coppell has done a great job to keep Reading bubbling considering the number of injuries they have had recently; their greatest asset is their willingness to work.

"I feel I made a major contribution at Reading in changing it to a club with a winning culture - the fans were brilliant to me and I understand their reaction when I left."

West Ham's last visit to the Madejski stadium was in the League Cup on the September 11th of the terrorist attacks upon the twin towers in New York, and Alan says:

"I was surprised the game was not called off; it was an emotional day."

SQUAD: Bywater, Srnicek, Repka, Dailly, Melville, Harley, Harewood, Carrick, McAnuff, Reo-Coker, Etherington, Connolly, Zamora, Nowland, Deane, Hutchison, Mullins, Cohen.