Alan: It Was So Harsh

Alan Pardew insists that West Ham were harshly punished by the sending off of Matthew Etherington on Saturday at Norwich for two bookable offences - both of which he feels did not warrant yellow cards.

Having reviewed the video at close quarters, and in particular the incident in which Matthew received his second yellow card for alleged time wasting, Alan says:

"My thoughts are exactly the same as they were on the day; I felt the referee could have managed the whole situation in a different manner in terms of going over to Mattie, putting the ball in the arc, and saying 'come on, let's just get on with it' - rather than shouting at him from 20 yards.

"I spoke to him afterwards and he accepted my criticism that perhaps he could have done that, but we all make mistakes and, unfortunately for us, it will be a costly one because Mattie misses a game.

"Luckily we didn't end up losing the Norwich match because that really would have compounded the issue.

"I think, though, it was a situation that could easily have been avoided.

"I have always had a good relationship with referees and Mr. Olivier is a referee I have not really had a run-in with before - it is not as if I have a history with him.

"I just feel really upset about it and feel it was really unnecessary; I wanted to vent that, but obviously I didn't want to go on the pitch.

"I was just frustrated because I want to win and when I am West Ham manager I expect to win.

"When I don't I am not very happy."

And the first yellow, for a foul on Paul McVeigh?

"That was some of the frustration as well because we didn't feel that was warranted," says Alan.

That such frustration was shown at getting a worthy point away to the league leaders, however, is indicative of the club's progress, and Alan adds:

"We were disappointed in the changing room and we felt we had done enough to win the game.

"We have still got some improving to do and we know that and we are looking forward to tonight after a hard day's work on Monday."