Pards Anticipates A Christmas Cracker!

PAUL Jewell is one manager Alan Pardew has a lot of time and respect for after both Managers got their teams promoted last season and both have defied the odds and the critics by mounting a decent challenge at not just surviving but maintaining a top-half position for most of the season. Pards, therefore is looking forward to seeing his counterpart at the Latics and of course hopefully getting one over on him!

"It will be nice to see Paul and his team, myself and Paul have spoken a few times during the season. We've both approached everything this season in a very similar manner. Our teams both like to attack the sides we play and I think a few teams we've played, they've found that uncomfortable and long may that continue.
"I'd like to think that we will both put on a good show tonight, a game that will be a good advert for the Premiership and the start we have both made. It doesn't always work out like that of course. People will come and think these two teams are having a good season so far and then it might be a boring game, but hopefully it won't be. I certainly hope not, because both our teams have provided what I feel has been fantastic entertainment so far this season."
Traditionally at this point of the season most newly promoted teams are already talking about relegation battles, whereas Wigan and West Ham United have talk of European places surrounding them, a fact the Manager puts down to both team's style of play.
"I think in a lot of ways, both our game and that of Wigan, is suited to this league, away from home especially. Wigan have pace on the break like ourselves and are good at controlling and winning games thoroughly. The next step for us and Wigan, is to do that more at home. We've shown it a few times, against Aston Villa and then again against West Brom, I feel we were very composed and have caught teams out a little bit. It will be very interesting to see who gets a grip of the game tonight, hopefully it will be us. Both of us will try and force the game and that is why it promises to be a good match."

 "I can only talk about where we are in the League and of course we're delighted. I feel we've approached it all in the right manner. I can't think of one game where we have just set our stall out to just defend and then hit teams on the break. We've tried to control games and perhaps that is the secret of the success of going up, is not to approach a game in a negative way, in any shape or form, but be positive.

"It doesn't always work for you, of course but you try. There's been matches like against Liverpool away and perhaps at Portsmouth, but on the whole, we've been the dominant force in possession. Apart from at Anfield, we've had more possession in every game - that's an amazing statistic and if someone had said that to me at the start, I would have been totally amazed and I hope that's something that will continue. Again, speaking about us, it's so far so good and we want it to continue in that way."