Tony On Dons Duo

Tony Gale says that Adam Nowland and Nigel Reo-Coker can make a positive contribution to the club - and is pleased that Alan Pardew made a move for the pair while others stalled.

"They are both good, promising players and I think it is with an eye to the future as well as now," he says of the duo, who were going through medicals on Wednesday.

"Both have had experience of the first division and I don't think either would let us down.

"I have seen them in action for Wimbledon, and it is basically difficult for all young players to play together; I think they should improve by playing with some experienced players at West Ham now, though they are good players who have been sought after by a few clubs.

"West Ham have got in there at the right time; one or two have been after Nowland, Reo-Coker has been touted around quite a bit, and Alan has jumped in and got it done.

"They may have been linked with Premiership clubs but I think they still look at West Ham as a Premiership club - and that is certainly how I look at us, even though we are in the first division.

"Some of the lads that are signing are getting to know that; I don't think Hayden Mullins, for instance, knew that it was such a big club."

Tony sees the move the pair as being part of a revolution instigated by Alan, and adds:

"It is nearly there and I think what you are seeing gradually happening is Alan bringing in his own people; he has obviously looked at who he can keep and who he has got to move on so the attitude changes.

"Bringing in your own people is the best way to do it and hopefully we can still get the results while all this change is going on."

Alan has been keen to stress that he is looking at the immediate situation as well as the longer term, and Tony agrees:

"I still don't want us to lose sight of the fact that we still need to get promoted from this first division.

"It is very important to get out this season because the longer you are down there the longer you get used to being down there, and you become a first division side - and then a first division club, which we are not.

"We still have Premiership aspirations to get back to where we should be - and I still don't believe it is beyond us, to be honest."

Those ambitions will be boosted if Jermain Defoe stays, and Tony says:

"The window is close to closing and maybe Jermain will be a bit choked if he thought the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal would be in for him.

"They haven't done it yet but it will happen when it happens and he shouldn't force things."

As for the departure of Paul Goddard this week, Tony adds:

"It is understandable that Alan would want his own people around him.

"Sometimes when you take over as manager you take over some of the baggage that is there and you can understand Alan wanting to have his own assistant around him - which is why he has brought in Peter Grant."

Alan has paid tribute to how Paul helped him when he took over, and Tony says:

"Paul knew the club which was the important thing; if you had had two newcomers come to the club it might have been a bit difficult but Alan has had long enough now to know what he wants and who he wants alongside him.

"I think Paul would take it as read as something that happens in football; if I had the job I would want my own people around me - it is just something that is part and parcel of football."