Alan So Pleased

Alan Pardew says that the win at Crewe may not have been the best performance of the campaign - but certainly the most satisfying.

He points to the fact that his side won without Andy Melville and Christian Dailly, to name but two, and explains:

"I think Reading was our best performance but I think Crewe was more pleasing because of the difficulties we had had.

"We know the balance of the squad is not quite right because we know we need some top class defenders at this club.

"I might be armed to resolve that and in terms of how we are offensively we have shown that when we turn on the power we can create many chances.

"And even against Wigan, when we didn't play very well, we created three or four golden chances which we just didn't take.

"So that side of our game is on but on the other side of it we just need a bit more experience and a few more bodies.

"We were running out of defenders with Hayden getting a knock as well on Saturday but I thought that apart from the two goals we defended well as a team.

"It was a victory for the squad because there was no Michael again and we lost four or five senior players in the week.

"The main point is that we had a really tough week, losing bodies left, right, and centre, we had young Trent on at right back and we had two 17 year olds on the bench in Chris Cohen and Mark Noble.

"With all due respect to Crewe because they are a nice team and gave us a good game we should have had five or six goals, and that is the potential of this team; it wasn't to be, and we had a really scary five or 10 minutes at the end."

Alan was just pleased that his players showed the right response after the defeat by Wigan and he adds:

"We were obviously disappointed with the Wigan game and accusations that we weren't organised or weren't good enough, etc. etc.

"We answered some of them even though Wigan was not a performance we were proud of - and it wasn't an underlying problem, we just had an off day, and have put that right.

"The travelling fans we had were terrific and that was great to see; it gave us a bit of a boost because they obviously gave us some stick last week - they showed their loyalty to us and were in good voice.

"We had some great displays, especially offensively, but particularly Teddy, and it is good because he could have walked away at the top of his game or gone abroad, and I think it was nice for the people of Crewe to see an international player playing not far from his very best - and we are delighted he is a West Ham player.

"He has got technical ability but he is a leader on the pitch, and you can't get enough of them."

Alan is backing Marlon Harewood to start scoring soon - the post at Gresty Road is surely still rattling after his second half effort hit the upright on Saturday - and adds:

"Marlon, as disappointed as he was and we were with him against Wigan, was superb at Crewe, and he showed the quality that he possesses in this league."