Alan On Transfer Deals

Alan Pardew is delighted that Bramall Lane debutants Andy Melville and Jon Harley have joined the club - and that Rami Shaaban is also on board to give Steve Bywater some competition.

Talking of Jon, who scored in the 3-3 draw to become an instant hit with the travelling fans, he says:

"He got a fantastic goal and he was terrific in the first half; we had to defend for long periods in the second half and it was a shame we didn't come away with a win.

"Andy Melville had a tough battle against Wayne Allison and his first game for us was nice and steady - and gave us an assured look, which we needed at times.

"I keep bringing players in on loan because we haven't really got the financial clout to do it permanently but if they show me they are good enough to be a West Ham player then I could possibly do that one.

"Jon needs to show us in this period that he is the man; I can't afford to make mistakes and this getting them in first to have a look is probably the ideal policy for us.

"Obviously we want to get promoted this year but the important thing is that we are strong for next year, whatever division we are in.

"I think there could be something done with Jon; he has had a good start and he was well-received at Bramall Lane because he knows this level.

"He has good qualities and he is going to help us at home when we need some more offensive work and he can be proud of his performance - as can Andy Melville and Steve Bywater.

"Andy is experienced and I would like to think he is going to make us feel a little bit more assured at times.

"He has got great leadership abilities which is one of the reasons I was attracted to him and he has made an easy situation for with losing Ian Pearce that I have got him in return - and obviously some cash to go with it to fill in one or two other areas.

"It is substantial money and without going into details it was a good deal for us.

"Obviously we had to keep an eye on Ian Pearce's wages and for next year as well, as I said; it is all about trying to get better but keeping one eye on the development of the club."

As for the Pearce situation, he adds:

"I think he has had the longest medical in history at Fulham!v "He is having that and he will do a good job for them; he is a good pro and we wish him well if it all goes through - and if not we will welcome him back.

"I have had to give this the green light so obviously I feel it will be beneficial for us."

Regarding Steve's performance - in which he saved a penalty - he adds:

"It was his first game for me today and what a place to come; he has got the window of opportunity.

"Rami is available for the FA cup and we will have to review the game today, look forward to next week, and it is either Stephen or Rami to play in that game.

"He is a real workaholic, this guy; we haven't seen much of him but we are looking forward to working with him next week."

It has been a busy week for Alan on the transfer front, and he adds:

"When I was at Reading life was sweet and I was on the beach, but I am in the mines here - and I have to dig my way out of it.

"That is where we are and we can make no illusion about it - we are digging out of a big hole to try to get to the surface and see some light.

"That is the process we are in but we are absolutely looking at getting out this year; I don't want anyone to think that the sale of Ian Pearce and David James is us throwing in the towel - far from it.

"Our fans were terrific and we put on a great show - and were two minutes from a great victory."