Alan On Sergei

Alan Pardew says Sergei Rebrov's awareness of West Ham endeared the player to him - and reckons he will prove a few people in this country wrong about his abilities.

"He seemed to have a good knowledge of our season last year, which was nice, so he is obviously following us, " says Alan.

"I didn't have to give him too much of a brief about how our season went - he more or less knew it, and that adhered me to him.

"Hopefully it will come across when the fans see him for the first game on Saturday, because I must stress he can't be involved on Wednesday at Colchester.

"We are very, very pleased that Sergei has agreed to join us; we think he is going to be a very big player for West Ham and along with Teddy gives us that quality we need at this club.

"I think there are a number of roles he can do for us, but the way he is showing up at the minute we will just make sure he gets in the team.

"He looks very sharp and looks like he wants to prove a few people wrong.

"I don't think he has got anything to prove in his own country regarding how good he is - or internationally.

"But on these shores there might be one or two people he wants to show how good he is.

"You only have to see him in training to know what quality he has, and our players appreciate that.

Alan faced stiff competition for the Ukrainian's signature, and explains:

"There is not a great deal of difference between coaching systems and what you can put on the training ground - a lot of it is down to recruiting, and hopefully Sergei will be a big success for us.

"And with the players we have brought into the club in the seven or eight months last year, hopefully they can settle and become more of an influence for us.

"I also inherited some very good players in Christian Dailly and Steve Lomas, etc., so we are trying to get a team that can do more than contend - but can go on and be a real force in the league."

Teddy has already expressed here his admiration for Sergei, his former Spurs team mate, and Alan adds:

"It is always nice and reassuring that a senior player gives such a high recommendation; if Steve Lomas says to me about a player I am going to listen, and the same goes for Teddy.

"I think they felt that they didn't have enough time together on the pitch at Tottenham and maybe they will have a bit more time on the Upton Park pitch together."

Alan is preparing his squad to face Colchester on Wednesday night, and he says:

"I have already spoken to Phil Parkinson, the manager there, and said I want that surface cut properly so we haven't got long grass to play on and the ball travels quickly.

"I certainly expect a better showing than at Peterborough where we looked a bit jaded from the work we had done."