Serge Will Succeed

Alan Pardew is backing Sergei Rebrov to justify his reputation at West Ham soon - and insists that scoring is only part of his game.

Serge opened his account on Tuesday evening against Notts. County but Alan reckons there is more to his game than grabbing goals.

"I have got to be honest, I thought his passing was spot on in the Carling Cup - passing is one of the characteristics of his play," he says.

"Serge doesn't say much though I think he has been frustrated - but we see in training that he is getting better and better.

"Hopefully when his next opportunity comes he will take it and stay in the team."

As for the much debated topic about his best position, Alan adds:

"I think he actually prefers to play behind the strikers in some way, whether it is on the right of midfield or tucked in behind the front two, because his passing is his key - and Shevchenko would back me up on that!

"I have been rock solid with Sergei since he arrived and the bottom line is that he has been out of an English first team for a long time.

"So I am just trying to get the best out of him - and he has responded well."

The battle with Luke Chadwick for a right hand midfield berth is certainly interesting and Alan adds:

"I think it is coming to a head because Sergei has featured in almost every game, so he has made a worthy contribution already.

"Luke Chadwick was probably our best player the game before so that position of right midfield is not a problem for us - whereas before it was."