Pards: It's Back To Work

Alan Pardew is back at work with the players on Friday after giving them a couple of days rest following the win over Ipswich on Tuesday.

"My experience of the playoffs is that it is now a really long period when you have been used to games every three days," he says.

"And with the euphoria of the win I wanted to calm everybody down and let them chill out a bit, because their fitness levels will not need to improve between now and Cardiff - they are where they should be.

"It is also a case of making sure we don't do anything silly in terms of picking up injuries in this period."

Alan hails the win as the best of the season in terms of quality and adds:

"You have to say it was our most complete performance of the season from start to finish.

"But we have reached those heights before, as long ago as Sheffield United in the first half, which was the first sign of us putting together the sort of football that I am after.

"We have had some nice things said and a lot of managers have contacted me to say they admired the way we played."

Alan was delighted by the atmosphere at Upton Park on Tuesday and adds:

"It was a great night and I am particularly pleased that the fans enjoyed it so much.

"It is absolutely essential we go to Cardiff on the back of a great performance - and with the trust of our fans.

"But the important thing is that we win at Cardiff, and that is all that matters now.

"That night will never be forgotten but ultimately we want it to lead to a better night.

"My take on it is this: after everything that has happened this season we want to turn it into a really memorable one against all the odds.

"That is what we have to focus on - the only way it is going to be memorable is to win at Cardiff."