Alan's Angle Of Attack

HAMMERS are hoping for more of the same on the road this weekend, as Alan Pardew's side visit Blackburn, but Rovers will be eager to gain revenge for that opening day defeat at Upton Park.

"Any opening day is a big day for a football club," said Pards "because you've worked your pre-season particularly for that fixture.

"I know when I've won the first game it sticks in my memory, and certainly when you've lost them, so Blackburn will be highly motivated for this game.

"We got a fantastic start, and Blackburn didn't, so we know we'll be up against a very motivated team on Saturday."

The Lancashire outfit lay 13th in the table, four points behind West Ham United, but Pards has been impressed by their team ethic this season, one which has taken them to the quarter-finals of the League Cup.

"I saw them against Arsenal and I thought they were terrific," he said, "and that's with a 3-0 defeat.

"Arsenal relied on their individual superior quality, not on the team, and I think the best team on the day was Blackburn.

"They passed well, moved well, and look a good, comfortable side - and my scouts tell me it wasn't to dissimilar last week against Everton. I think they're going really well, they've got some great players and it's a tough game for us."

The fantastic result at Birmingham on Monday at night took its toll on the Hammers squad but Pards is still confident in his young side to perform.

"It was a tense game for us at St Andrews," he said, "one that drained us of energy and mental energy as well.

"We've got a very busy period over Christmas and we wanted to do some work this week, which we've had to put back because of the recovery needed after the Birmingham game.

"We've got plenty of good bodies available though, Christian Dailly hasn't featured much so far, and David Bellion and Jeremie Aliadiere are desperate for a chance, so we're still in good fettle.

"We haven't actually played that many games really. I'm used to the Championship calendar, but we're only on our 15th at the moment.

"It's been great for us because it gives me more time to prepare and be thorough, which I like to do."

Part of the preparation this season for the management team has been the implementation of Prozone.

"We use Prozone in preparation looking at our last game and looking at the opposition," explained Pards.

"Obviously when you've got three or four days turn around you can do that, when you get into the Christmas period it takes a bit more planning because we've only got one or two days in between.

"There are different video analysis systems around, and everybody has their own one.  You can take a lot of data from fitness levels, which we use, but every Premiership club has those sorts of tools.

"My philosophy is 'do whatever it takes', any percentage of anything if it makes a difference. You're looking for an edge, any manager or coach in any profession is looking for that edge and angle.

"I remember Fulham introducing those exercise bikes, but I can see the logic in that, trying something different, making sure they didn't get muscular injuries. Everybody's looking for an angle and that goes for us as well."