Alan: A Good Response

Alan Pardew is delighted with the response his players have shown in training - and detects a real belief and determination to get promotion this time around.

"The positive for us - and I was probably the only one who had encountered a playoff final defeat before - is that the reaction I have seen has been very positive, more so then when I lost last time with Reading, in terms of belief that we can really do it," he explains.

"So that is something that pleases me - there is good spirit."

Saturday gave Alan the first opportunity to see Teddy Sheringham in match action, and he adds:

"Teddy has come in and worked hard while we were in Sweden; he was shattered after the game but you could see his quality come out and on a better pitch two or three of his passes would have been spot on.

"There is more to Teddy than being just a player; his personality and character will be important to us, sometimes when things aren't going so well."

He knows there will be occasions when he will have to make tough decisions concerning his strikers, and he adds: "This is West Ham, it is a big club, so I have got no problem with that.

"Ultimately there will be people disappointed but that is how it is."

Alan anticipates more transfers to come and says:

"I am keen to see that maybe we could do something with Rebrov we will see how that develops 

As for Crystal Palace's recent bid for Marlon Harewood and Michael Carrick - both of which were turned down - Alan explains:

"I never say no one is for sale because everyone has a price - there is one on everybody's head at every club in the country and ultimately you do what is right for your club.

"As far as we are concerned Marlon is going to have a big year for us.

"With Michael it is a bit different because as we all know he has a year on his contract.

"However our valuation of Michael is a lot higher."

As for the sale of David Connolly and departure of Kevin Horlock, Alan says:

"I felt the bid was about right and I thought that him moving on would open the door for the Rebrovs and Sheringhams of this world.

"Of course, it is a concern; the first league game is against Leicester and he is capable of banging a couple of goals in as he is a very good player.

"But we are trying to do things very shrewdly; Kevin Horlock was a squad player and we have made a major saving on him because he had two more years on his deal.

"But the side is a strong team, there is no doubt about that, we have added Teddy and we might be adding one or two others.

Alan is delighted that with Rufus Brevett fit again, he has real competition for left back, an area that saw several players perform there last season.

"I have a bonus on the left side because I have Rufus and also Chris Cohen who looks like he is ready to play," says Alan.

"Now I have got the luxury of two left footers after an imbalance.

"There are still a couple of areas where I would like to put a bit of competition in, and we will see how that develops."

As for the draw against Peterborough, Alan concludes:

"The grass was long which made it a slow, dull game, which was a shame.

"But all groundsmen look to protect their pitch though I will be on the phone to Colchester to make sure they cut theirs!

"Everyone was trying to charge some energy into the game; we passed the ball reasonably well in the first half but didn't finish it well when we conceded a poor goal.

"It got a little bit too stretched for my liking but Peterborough were terrific and they have one or two top players."