Alan's Happy

Alan Pardew is pleased that he was able to give three players their first taste of action at Sheffield United on Saturday - and is looking forward to giving a fourth a debut soon.

Calum Davenport and Carl Fletcher made their first starts for the Hammers while Malky Mackay came off the bench for his debut at the weekend.

A fourth new signing, Chris Powell, remained on the bench, but will get his chance soon.

Smiles Alan:

"Chris Powell is well known to me and is actually old enough for me to have played with him!

"I just feel that with a lot of games coming up I am going to have to rest Rufus, manage the squad, and give it more competition as well - and Chris has come in to do that job."

If a permanent deal could be done, Alan would welcome that as the final piece in his jigsaw - for the time being - and he reveals:

"On my part, I would like him to stay; he is Alan Curbishley's player and I would like to thank him and Charlton for letting us have him, but I don't know how much he is going to feature for them this year and I think Chris wants to play - so I think there is a chance we could get him."

Chris signed with Malky Mackay on Friday, and Alan adds:

"Malky is someone I just felt we need; he is a good talker and a winner as he proved last year.

"He is a major character in the dressing room, he is well known to us, and is everything that I am about - I think he will be a big signing for us.

"In this little period we have signed Calum and Chris Powell, who has been a skipper and played for England, we have signed the skipper of Norwich last year when they went up, we have signed the skipper of Bournemouth, and I think if there is one thing this team has been crying out for it is a little bit of that - which we needed on Saturday."

Alan's choice of signings certainly looked to be astute at the weekend, and he adds:

"We had to dig in in the second half and show a bit of character, and you just can't get enough of that, so I am very pleased that they are here.

"They are all together and I think there is a belief now that we have got enough players on the roster to give this a real good go.

"I hope our fans see that and I hope they come out in force; they were terrific on Saturday, our away fans, and we need our home fans to come back in force because there are a few missing.

"We want them all back and we want to make it a cauldron; we have got three home games, which is an expensive week for our supporters, but we need them against Rotherham and we are definitely going to need them against Ipswich.

"I hope that they have been buoyed by the signings and they will have a little more belief in us - and that we can justify that belief."

Of the two new starters at Bramall Lane, Alan adds:

"I was very pleased with Carl and Calum; Malky just got a wee bit as well and that is what you want - people to come straight in and put competition on others.

"I thought as a team we settled in quickly because Calum and Carl Fletcher had only had one day of training.

"Calum is a confident lad who can cope with everything, and I thought he did well.

"Carl had a good debut as well and I thought he was very much part of that rhythm we had in the first half."

Of the game overall, he says:

"Going there is very, very difficult and it's tough to get a result - as Sheffield United fans who watch every week know.

"We got that good rhythm in the first half, something they want to stop you doing, and we should perhaps have had two or three before half time.

"After that their play was backed by a strong wind and they are very good at what they do; they caused us a lot of trouble and we had to defend for our lives as a team - which we did.

"One little bit of quality from Serge got us a free kick and we have that bit of quality, hopefully, that will get us enough wins.

"It was a good game of two different styles; I thought Sheffield United's players were very good and we had to be at our best."

Regarding Teddy Sheringham's winning free kick, Alan says:

"Teddy said he put so much gear on it it just deviated at the end - but there are rumours of a touch from Carl Fletcher!"

As for the other goalscorer, Marlon Harewood, who had not been able to connect in the six yard box before unleashing a spectacular strike, he adds:

"He said it just skipped along the surface away from him, but he made up for it with a really excellent goal.

"He had a bad back and he struggled a little bit with that but we still believe we haven't seen the best of Marlon and hopefully that goal will kick him on."

The future, reasons Alan, is looking positive, with the new signings made and the players to come back, and he concludes:

"We have worked hard and Paul Aldridge has done a great job for me as well, helping me out - we have got real competition now throughout the squad.

"Bobby Zamora is back training with us now - we have missed his competition - and Steve Lomas is back as well.

"If you look at what we have got available now you have to say the squad is definitely capable of winning this league.

"I'm under no pressure now to sell anyone so anyone who comes and goes will be the choice of the player or myself.

"I am going to try as best I can to get a spirit here and manage the team in terms of resting people here and there, because we have got enough senior players to make sure we get the wins to get promoted.

"I am a lot more comfortable now than I have been for some time as manager of West Ham.

"There might be one more permanent signing but we have got a couple of loans and we are going to see how that works for us."