Pards' Preview

Alan Pardew says that despite West Ham's two clean sheets, he still needs more defensive personnel in his squad as he looks towards the game aginst Wigan.

With Christian Dailly now on the injured list, however, the need to bring in a defender was exacerbated, and he adds:

"The bottom line is I need a couple of defenders and Christian's knee injury has compounded the issue; we are sweating on how bad that injury is at the moment.

"We will have to wait and see, but it could well be between three and four weeks; it is a blow but one we have to overcome as a squad.

"I think I should be able to bring in someone permanent and maybe one loan; we are short anyway in that department, and needed money, so the sacrifice had to be made."

Although observers might point to the fact that West Ham have kept two clean sheets, Alan is still prioritising defensive cover.

"Against Leicester we were comfortable and defended well when we had to, and against Reading we didn't defend well - and although we got a clean sheet, it was more luck then judgment.

"We need to defend better than that; we will, and we have, but the problem lies in the lack of numbers.

"I have always been attack minded and Reading played that way whereas most teams shut up shop when they play at our place and that gives the game a different look."

As for the game against Wigan, whose play-off hopes West Ham ended with a late equaliser to force a draw at the JJB stadium on the last day of the season, he says:

"I think they will be armed with a bit of revenge in their blood; it will be a highly motivated team that has improved on last year with a couple of good signings.

"That late goal cost them a playoff place and I know how hurt Paul was after the game; it was difficult to face him.

"They had a couple of players sent off when they came here in the league so that wasn't a good day for them either.

"This is the third contender in a week we play and it is a tough call as soon as the season has started - it is lucky we have an extra day to prepare.

"They are an organised side and I have great respect for Paul who has got a good team around him."

Meanwhile, Alan is full of praise for Moses Ashikodi, who scored for the reserves midweek in his first competitive outing for West Ham since joining from Millwall.

"He has got talent and he is going to be a player for us; he has settled in, and we hope he is going to come through - but there is a long way to go yet," he says.