Pavel On Signing

Pavel Srnicek will get at least two more appearances for West Ham this season - and then see if he is offered a longer contract at the club.

Pavel has signed on a free transfer from Portsmouth on a contract that takes him to the summer, and of course will replace Steve Bywater for the games in which he is suspended.

Assuming, when Sunday's referee Jeff Winter's report arrives, that Steve Bywater's sending off at Millwall was for preventing a goal scoring opportunity - as opposed to violent conduct, which carries three games - he will serve one match for that plus a further game as he has already been sent off in the reserves this season.

Ironically, that was for a harsh sending off in a 5-1 defeat by Portsmouth in October.

That means he will miss games against Crystal Palace and Derby County over Easter.

"I am staying until the end of the season and we will take it game by game, week by week," says Pavel.

"We haven't discussed these things yet because first we have to see what is happening at the end of the season."

Looking at the defeat by Millwall on Sunday, which was his West Ham debut when he came on technically for Matthew Etherington - but of course entered the fray because of Steve's sending off - he adds:

"It is the blackest day for West Ham United this season, I would say.

"It is hard to say it but I don't think we had the right to win the game - we have to admit that all around the pitch the performances weren't the best.

"I think that Millwall look one of the best teams in the league but hopefully we will learn a lesson from this and avoid the mistakes."

Regarding the red card, he says:

"It is a harsh sending off because Steve just stood his ground when Steve lobbed him and their player ran into him. "Stephen didn't move in to his direction, he just stood still.

"I think it is a harsh decision by the referee and it wasn't the only one of the day - but that had nothing to do with our performance.

"I had a couple of sendings off like that as well and I know how the goalkeeper feels afterwards - but the referee has a different view.

"I think if there had been a goal he would have let Stevie stay on the pitch, but for me it was a harsh decision."

His first task was to face a penalty by Cahill that went well wide, and Pavel, who has spent a month on loan at the club, adds:

"Sometimes the second goalkeeper gets those things but when I came on I didn't have much to do, although I did concede the goal.

"Overall it was a bad day for West Ham United."

"The top two is very difficult because clubs have games in hand and Sunderland have three in hand.

"We made it harder for ourselves on Sunday so perhaps we have to look at the top six.

"There are only eight games left with 24 points to play for and we have to believe we can do it.

"It would be really harsh to not make the top six."