Pards Up's The Tempo

ALAN Pardew included nine changes in his side for the Hammers second game of the season at FC Trollhättan, but that did nothing to dent a rampant Hammers display.

Playing the sort of crisp, flowing football that belongs at Upton Park, the Swedish Second Division side were eased aside, with goals from Carl Fletcher, Bobby Zamora and Teddy Sheringham.

The 3-0 win left Pards in a bouyant mood, as he contemplated the progress of his team.

"We were excellent in the first-half against Trollhättan," he said. "We changed the team to give those who didn't play in the first-team a run out, and the performance was very good. "The tempo and energy was high, particularly in the first-half and we put together some nice moves as well.

"The midfield saw a lot of the ball, we worked it out and got into some really good areas.  "I was really pleased after the game, especially with the application of the players. "From the moment we landed here in Sweden, they've worked extremely hard. From a physical and fitness perspective, we are much further advanced than I had planned for this stage of pre-season, and that can only be a positive thing for the Club's perparations."

After an absence from football that stretches back into April, Teddy Sheringham showed no signs of rustiness as he capped a strong display with the third goal against Trollhättan, a team that overcame Spurs in a pre-season friendly this time last year. Pards admitted that Teddy's experience could be vital for the season ahead.

"Teddy is a very influential player for us," he said. "He had a good performance against Trollhättan, scored a good goal and it's good to see him fit and looking forward to the new season. "His experience of the top-level is going to be important for the younger lads around the squad and we're hoping he can really have a positive influence this season."

New signing Danny Gabbidon was paired with Anton Ferdinand in the centre of defence - the pair turning in a commanding display to leave Pards very pleased with his defensive options.

"Danny's a very strong player and his favoured position is at centre-half," added Pards. "He had a strong game alongside Anton, and I think along with Elliott Ward and James Collins we have four defenders who are going to cope well with the step up to Premiership level.

"What will be the opening pairing is entirely up to the players. Whoever plays well will be in, but competition is very tight and those players that are sitting out will be doing everything to force their way in."

Matty Etherington was another to impress on the left-side of midfield, playing his first game since signing a new four-year deal with the Hammers. Pards admitted that securing Matty's future was vital to his plans.

"That could be one of our most important signings this summer," he said. "Matty is a really important player and it's fantastic for the future of the Club that we've signed him on an extended contract."

Pards is now preparing his side to face Västra Frölunda IF in the final game of their pre-season tour of Sweden before the squad return to England on Wednesday. And the Hammers boss insists it's been a successful trip so far.

"In terms of the work we've done, both in training and in matches, I've been extremely pleased," he said. "The squad are looking fit, they're ahead of schedule in terms of physical preparation and things are progressing well.

"It's been a good bonding exercise for the team and it's always good to take the squad away for a week at the start of pre-season to get some real intensive work done. "Hopefully now we can make it a good end to the tour with a win on Tuesday."