Pards Offers No Excuses

ALAN Pardew refused to make excuses for the disappointing defeat against  Wigan last night and promised that his team will work hard to bounce back  against Charlton on Saturday. 

Despite seeing key players such as Danny Gabbidon, Tomas Repka, Yossi  Benayoun and Teddy Sheringham ruled out through injury, the Hammers boss was  admirably honest about the performance and admitted that he expected more  from his players. 

He said: "I don't think it would be right to blame the defeat on our injury  problems. We had two or three come back to us and, with the team  we had out there, I didn't expect a first-half performance like that. 

"We set the team up to make sure we were strong and were looking for a clean  sheet, but in the first 20 minutes, we looked vulnerable and did not  look like we were offering too much of an offensive threat either, so I  changed it. 

"But it did not get any better and then it was scratching your head time,  really, because the set of players we have, they have been brilliant. 

"It's important that we don't dwell on the performance, though, we have to  bury it and look at the Charlton game, to try to get us back to where we  were."

Bouncing back from defeat is a quality that Hammers have certainly shown  this season. The team's record of not losing two successive Premiership  matches is still in tact, and hopefully will remain so after our trip to The Valley this coming weekend. 

Pards admits an improvement will be needed if that is to be the case and is  confident that, if his players can show the high tempo and determination  that has been the key to our impressive first half of the campaign, 2005 can  end on a high against Alan Curbishley's men.  ÒWigan are a good team, but they didnât have to play to their maximum and  it's the first time this season that we've gifted the opposition the  points.

"One of our targets at the start of the season was that  everyone had to play at their maximum and make the opposition work hard for  a result, and we let that slip against Wigan. 

"All season we've been honest and shown character, but this makes us realise  that we can't take our foot of the pedal or afford to play at 90% in the  Premiership - we have to be at 100% at all times. 

"It's frustrating for everyone but we have to take the positives out of  everything we've done so far this season and keep looking forward. We've got  a nice points total to build upon between now and the end of the season."

Pards revealed that he hopes to welcome back one or two key players from  injury within the next week and also admitted that he will be working hard  to add more new faces to his squad when the January transfer window opens  next week. 

"The good news is that Teddy, Yossi and Tomas Repka aren't too far away. It  may be too soon for them on Saturday, or even on Monday against Chelsea, but  I would hope to have them back in the squad by the time we play Norwich in  the FA Cup. 

"In terms of our safety in the Premier League, we must build upon what we did in the summer, the transfer window is a crucial period for  us and I hope to add to the squad."