Nigel's Mixed Feelings

Nigel Reo-Coker had no qualms about scoring his first goal for West Ham against his former club - but insists it would not have been right to celebrate, even though Wimbledon only had 190 fans at Upton Park in a crowd of 29,818 on Tuesday evening.

In other words, 156.93 West Ham fans were there for every Dons supporter on a freezing night at Upton Park!

"It was a good goal after good play and great team work,"says Nigel of his near-post strike following a four man move which started with Tomas Repka and hat trick man Matthew Etherington and ended with a flick by Marlon Harewood to Nigel.

"But I have got a lot of close friends there that are like family - and out of respect I decided not to celebrate.

"I am very pleased to get off the mark, though, as you want to get your first goal for the club as early as possible - it helps you settle in even more."

Wimbledon manager Stuart Murdoch says:

"I can't remember the last time we scored a goal - I think McAnuff was the last player to score for us."

But Nigel insists his former club were no pushover, despite the 5-0 score line, and adds:

"They have got some good players and there is still an abundance of talent still left at Wimbledon Football Club - hopefully they can rebuild and look to the future."

The win followed the disappointment of Saturday's 0-0 draw with Walsall at home, and Nigel adds:

"We had to learn from our experience against Walsall but Wimbledon were a lot more open than they were - they came to play football, though it took a while to break them down and get what we deserved."

As for hat trick hero Matthew Etherington, Nigel says:

"Mattie is very underrated, as is Dave Connolly who I am a big fan of, Marlon fact I could name the whole squad.

"Right now we are getting stronger and stronger together; we are going out there and expressing ourselves but there is so much more.

"Sunderland will be a difficult game, a lot different to Wimbledon, and a good test for us.

"But if we can win we can really start pushing West Brom to go higher in the league."

Alan Pardew agrees that West Brom can be caught and says:

"Pressure does strange things and they will find it tough to get over the line.

"They've still got work to do - and all you can do below that is have the best possible form.

"When I was Reading manager we were 10 points clear in the second division and we had eight draws because the pressure kicks in - there's no reason why that can't happen to Norwich or West Brom."

As for the game itself, Alan says:

"We played some terrific football and we've been threatening to do that for a while - we go into the Sunderland game at the weekend buoyant and putting pressure on the top two.

"We had a job to do tonight and once we got that first goal, we played some terrific football; we have been threatening to bash a team for some time and unfortunately for Wimbledon, they took the bashing.

"Now we go into the Sunderland game feeling buoyant and putting pressure on the top two."

As for Matthew Etherington's hat trick, he adds:

"I'm pleased to see him with a big smile on his face and a ball in his bag - without a doubt that's the first hat trick of his career; he would be in any first division side this season.

"When he was sent off at Norwich I was more than peeved and you can see why - he is a fantastic player.

"The one thing missing in his game is goals, and he has shown tonight he can score as well."