Pards: An Emotional Day

Alan Pardew says that going to Nottingham Forest on Sunday for their first league same since Brian Clough passed away will be emotional - but he stresses that his players have to keep their focus.

Forest old boys Marlon Harewood and Teddy Sheringham are, of course, amongst them, and he adds:

"I always remember growing up and watching his teams in Europe, jumping up and down when Trevor Francis scored in the European final; I was a great admirer of his attitude and what he was about, as was my family.

"He was a legend; we will pay our small respects when we arrive at the stadium and then focus on our job, which is obviously to get three points.

"We have to accept that the fans are going to be singing Cloughie's name through the game and rightly so; Forest are going to be buoyed by that - and we have to respond.

"But I think our fans will grace the occasion as well; the important thing for us is that we keep a decent little run going and get the three points if possible - that is what we will attempt to do."

He anticipates a good game and adds:

"One of his famous quotes, when the Wimbledon era was about, was that God didn't put grass in the sky so hopefully we can keep it on the floor and there will be some good play."

Alan saw Forest in the Carling Cup in midweek and adds:

"I travelled up there on Wednesday and there were some tributes; a few punters came up to me and asked if they could have Marlon back.

"I don't think it will be an 'alien' reception for him; there will be some people that are pleased to see him, but not in a West Ham shirt!"

With Bobby Zamora back, Alan feels he has real competition up front and adds:

"With Zamora returning the pressure is going to be on both Teddy and Marlon to get the goals; we are not scoring enough at the moment, though generally we are making the chances and creating a fair bit of pressure against teams.

"We want to get more and Marlon's record up to now wouldn't be what he wanted - the challenge is on, which is what you want."

He stresses, though, that Teddy Sheringham's game is not just about scoring and explains:

"Teddy is going to add to the team as a whole; he is not just a striker.

"Forest is his old club as well and he will be looking forward to the game as much as anyone."

As for whether Cloughie should have got the England manager's position, Alan says:

"I remember when the England job came up but he was regarded as being too dangerous for the job - but when you look at what Sven was going through perhaps he was best suited for it."