Alan: Mc Talks Soon

Alan Pardew will be looking to have contract talks with Michael Carrick in the next fortnight.

Alan reveals that he is not going to wait until the summer to discuss matters with Michael, whose contract is due to expire at the end of this season.

"There is no way I am going to put that to one side; I need to talk to him and I will do that in the next couple of weeks," he says.

"He is a player that is important to me, the way I have us play.

"He has got great ability on the ball and we are trying to improve other aspects of his game, which he is as well - that is the most important thing.

"He is getting stronger and that is starting to be reflected on the pitch."

Michael's immediate focus, of course, is putting in another good performance against Norwich at the weekend, and he says:

"I am just concentrating on West Ham and getting us into the Premiership.

"Top spot is going to be hard because Norwich are playing well but nine points off West Brom with a game in hand is achievable.

"We have a good squad, and in training I am just scraping into the 'young' team which wasn't the case before!"