Tony Backs Marlon

Tony Gale is backing Marlon Harewood to carry on scoring - and says he will bounce back from the disappointment of Tuesday night.

TV highlighted the chances that Marlon had against Fulham before they moved into the lead at Upton Park in the FA cup fifth round replay, but Tony says:

"It shouldn't bother him at all; you just have to keep getting in there, and if you keep missing them you will score in the end - it is one of those.

"Someone had to win in the end, but it is a shame because I think West Ham will look at missed chances in both games and think we could have progressed into the next round.

"Fulham took theirs and West Ham didn't - and that is the story of the two games, really.

"It is funny, I don't think West Ham could say they were outclassed; in fact in the first game they were the better side and in the first half of the second game they were clearly the better side.

"But when you have periods of domination like West Ham had and particularly Marlon Harewood - who no one can have a go at because he has scored his fair share of goals anyway this season - you have to take them.

"And if you don't take your chances, you can rest assured that someone with Premiership class will take theirs in the end.

"I think that although we have drawn one and lost one Alan will be quite pleased in the fact that we have dominated Norwich for periods, and Fulham for periods.

"He knows he is nearly there but of course it is all about sticking the ball in the back of the net.

"I don't think he will be worried unduly because the boys are making chances."

Tony says Marlon was a superb signing, and adds:

"I think Alan nicked him, to be quite honest; you always feel that about him and I think he can improve as well.

"He has got great pace and strength; he is being played on the right at the moment, and if he played down the middle it is arguable whether he would be better or not - but I think in the end he will be a striker.

"Like Thierry Henry when he played wide, he had the pace and strength and added that touch, and I think what Marlon has to improve is when he has his back to goal and is joining in with play - as well as knowing when to play one touch and two touch and when to run with the ball.

"When he does run at players he is frightening; when he plays out on the wing he is up against smaller full backs, and it is hard to deal with that.

"They don't have to deal with that every day; they are normally up against slighter players like Matthew Etherington.

"He normally has the beating of full backs for pace and I think he has been an exciting signing."

Tony is also full of praise for Hayden Mullins, Alan Pardew's first recruit, and he adds:

"Christian was off when they scored one of the goals, which was a bit of a blow, but Hayden has not let anyone down when he has played in the centre of defence.

"He and Marlon have been two super signings and they are very good players.

"I played with Hayden when I was at Crystal Palace and he was an apprentice there - and I always thought he would make it.

"It is just a debate about what his best position is; he can play right back, left back, centre half, and midfield - anywhere.

"The boy is a footballer, for me - and footballers generally can play anywhere."