Pards' Preview

Alan Pardew is hoping for a more entertaining - and fruitful - game against QPR this weekend than the one at Loftus Road last month.

"Whoever got the goal that day was going to win because it was a really tight game," he reflects, "but I think it will be a little more open at our place, purely because it is a bigger pitch and it is harder to close the gap down.

"Our philosophy will be to try and make the pitch as 'big' as we can and I certainly hope it not a similar sort of match because QPR shut the space down quickly, and we will need to pass the ball well."

Three weeks ago West Ham went to a QPR side who were buoyed by a winning sequence of six games and Alan says:

"People have been saying what a great run they have had, and been waiting for the downfall - but that hasn't happened.

"They have got some good players there and it is tricky game for us - especially on the back of the Cardiff game.

"They are big club with good support; it is a difficult place to get a result and they are having a great season so far.

"I think all the teams that have been promoted from the division below have done reasonably well; you get a winning mentality so that helps straight away."

Alan is a confirmed admirer of Ian Holloway and he says:

"We know each other and he is an infectious character who brings that enthusiasm to his team - it is not often that you see a QPR side that is not highly motivated.

"Ian was manager at Bristol Rovers when I was at Reading and I think the first time we played them he had Jason Roberts, Cureton, Ellington, and Zamora.

"We keep in touch with the odd phone call but he is too busy riding his horse at the moment to talk to me! He plays the Gordon Strachan card to be a little maverick - but that is him."

Alan knows a quick response to the Cardiff defeat is needed if West Ham are to keep in touch with Wigan and he adds:

"Our preparation for the game was first class in terms of our travel arrangements so we were very disappointed to go 2-0 down so soon.

"There wasn't really much to take out of the game, individually or as a team - only that it should add to our enthusiasm to put it right on Saturday, added to the fact that QPR beat us only recently as well; there is a fair bit riding on the game.

"It was a bit of a shock on Tuesday because there were no signs, but the truth is that it is about how you react to games like that - and if you look at our record we have reacted in the past to defeats.

"Our home form has been terrific and if we get a win on Saturday the league will look a lot better - and then we have another home game against Brighton.

"You wouldn't want a tricky one away after that performance at Cardiff but we have to say we know it is still going to be a tough one against a side above us in the league."

There is, of course, quite a discrepancy between the home and away results this season but Alan says:

"If you study home and away form there are many reasons why it can change - but we certainly should have got something at Coventry and won at Forest, let alone lose, and those five points would make the league look a lot different from how it is at the moment.

"It is important not to get too down about it; the only way we can correct it is the next away game and in the mean time we have to continue to focus on our home form.

"There comes a time as a manager when you have to say 'that display is not acceptable' and try and perhaps look to give everyone a little perk-up, and that is what I will do on Saturday.

"The couple of changes I make might just be because it suits us better to play QPR - so I wouldn't read too much into them.

"We are looking for an improvement - and a team to beat the opposition, which is the bottom line."