Mattie Should Make It

Alan Pardew is confident that Matthew Etherington will be back in action next week at Fulham.

Matt had to pull out of the Bradford game at the last minute with a jarred back which Alan felt at the weekend may have partially been caused by a longer than necessary - call it the scenic route - coach journey to Bradford the day before.

"Regarding Mattie, who came in for treatment on Sunday, we think he has a good chance for Saturday," says Alan.

"Our driver Mick has come in for a bit of stick in the press but he has been a lucky omen for us.

"He made a bit of a boo-boo on Saturday, as we all do, and he held his hands up.

"You can't do more than that and he will make sure he never makes that mistake again, that is what they are all about."

Mick has not seen West Ham lose and was even invited into the dressing room before the home game with Rotherham the week before to deliver a few words.

"He isn't much better at team talks than he is at driving!" smiles Alan.

Jobi McAnuff was the late replacement for Matt on the left at Bradford, and Alan says:

"It was a real tough call for him to come in half an hour before the kickoff - he hadn't prepared himself mentally for the game as you would if you were starting.

"To play on the wrong side on your debut was just a little bit too big an ask and I apologise to him and his family because it was a bad decision by me.

"But he took it well, did as good a job as he could, and, don't get me wrong, he didn't play poorly.

"But it didn't look balanced with him there and he will be looking forward to getting on his good side."