Pards: Be Proud

Alan Pardew hopes that as the supporters familiarise themselves with his new-look squad they will feel proud of the players representing them.

"It is a side that I think the fans will start to have faith in and I am hoping they start turning the draws into wins and get us where we want to be," he says.

West Ham have drawn a total of 14 games this season, and Alan is keen to turn the stalemates into victories.

"The top teams won't lose too many now; it is about turning draws into wins that will determine the top teams that go up," he explains.

"Obviously the top two are the ones that worry me at the moment because they have got such a big lead, but I have seen those be eradicated very quickly - and hopefully that will happen."

Looking at the Cardiff game, and the threat of Robert Earnshaw, he says:

"It is a massive game; we under no illusions that they are a tough cookie and in Kavanagh and Earnshaw they have got two of the top players in the division.

"I think Earnshaw will play in the Premier League and I am sure the Cardiff fans hope it is with Cardiff.

"As we found out, it doesn't always conspire that way, but he is a terrific player, and one we are certainly going to have to watch.

"With Gabbidon at the back we are going to have to be at our very best to beat them, but the team I put out on Saturday will be a strong side, there is no doubt about that."

The league form has been good of late, and Alan knows that with the influx of players that he has available to him again after being ineligible on Tuesday in the FA cup, there is an opportunity to keep that going. "We played Norwich in form and now we have Cardiff on form; we were on our mettle against Norwich and it will have to be the same against this team," he says.

"It has not been easy to manage with having to leave players out then bring a whole new load in, but it will settle down now and there will be a choice that I have to make.

"Then it is up to the players who do not make that first eleven to get in - and for the ones that do start to make sure they put the performances in that warrant the jersey.

"That is the competition you are after, and I think we have got competition in all areas now, so I expect to see us kick on."

As for mature reflection on the Fulham defeat, Alan says:

"The scoreline flattered Fulham; we should have won the game when we were on top, but we never got in that position.

"Having said that, we have played some fantastic football and showed we can compete - and, to be honest, we didn't have a lot of luck on the night.

"Losing Tomas was a blow and after conceding the first goal, which was a little bit out of the blue, we lost Christian through a bad injury, so both our centre halves and Andy Melville were not then available - and it was too big a blow for us, to be honest.

"In the end we had a back three of Anton Ferdinand, Hayden, and Quinny, and that is far from ideal for West Ham United - they had never played together in a three.

"The lack of squad members for the cup just caught up with us and obviously we had an abundance of boys that weren't available.

"The boys had performed magnificently and deserved something rather than to peter out like we did; but you can't pick and choose in this game, it comes and exposes you at times - which is what happened."

Alan employed Hayden Mullins as a centre half on Tuesday, and says:

"I brought him for his versatility; he adds quality to any position, really - nothing fazes him, and he just goes out and does a job to the best of his ability.

"Having said that, that probably wasn't his best performance and I expected him to play better at centre half, but that is just because of my high expectations of him as a player, because I think he is a very good one."

Steve Lomas made his first Upton Park appearance in nine months against Fulham, having had two operations, and Alan says:

"By his own admission Lomy knows he is not quite right and it was perhaps a little unfair on him for me to stick him on.

"But we were desperate, we needed him, and he is not the type to run away from those sorts of situations; he is a fantastic character, it was nice to have him in the dressing room and nice to have him out on the green.

"There will be better days for him and better days for us to come.

"It is a pity we sent the fans home on the back of a defeat; we don't want to do that too often from now on and we are saving all our best stuff away from home.

"But we are going to turn that round, hopefully starting with Saturday.

"I'd like to think we would have won the game if Christian had played all of it and Tomas had been available, but events conspired against us - but it won't be like that every week and it will be our day another day."