Pards Praises Huge Win For Hammers

ALAN Pardew admitted that the 1-0 success over West Brom had been a massive result for his team and was delighted with a Hammers display that combined quality and determination in equal measure to see off a competitive Baggies team.

Hammers also had to overcome the loss of captain Nigel Reo-Coker at half-time and goalkeeper Shaka Hislop on the hour, but showed character in abundance to clinch what could prove three vital points.

"It was a big win for us and a terrific performance," enthused the Hammers boss. "That is 18 points now from 11 games and for a promoted team that is a huge achievement.

"We were back at home and for the first time we were up against a team that people expected us to beat. There was a different mind set around the Stadium and that's something we had to deal with.

"It was a magnificent first-half performance where we perhaps deserved to go in leading. I counted 13 chances and at this level that is a lot.

"In the second-half West Brom changed it, their back-four tightened up and they squeezed the pitch. They made it more difficult for us, but we got the goal and then we really had to dig deep.

"If the first-half was about quality then the second-half was really about character. We got our foot to the ball, we headed it clear, the goalkeeper has made a couple of good saves. It was a big performance in the second-half. You hold your hands up and say maybe West Brom deserved something in the second-half.

"But our back-four were terrific and the clean sheet is really important. They perhaps deserved one for their performance against Middlesbrough and didn't get it, so I'm delighted with the defensive performance.

"Danny Gabbidon in particular was first-class. It was an international performance from him today.

"A lot of people were saying that this was a must-win game for us. Well, we've done that now and that's what good teams do."

Pards often admits the importance of the Upton Park faithful to his team's home performances, and the Hammers boss was again quick to point out how important it is that the incredible West Ham United support continues.

"We need the fans with us because they are such an important part of the way we play," he added. "They were a bit expectant before the game and at this level you can't afford to be like that.

"They have such a key role to play, especially at home where their support this season has been absolutely incredible. Towards the end of the game they could see that we were really digging in, and they responded.

"We needed that, and it's that kind of backing that the team need."

With a break next week for internationals the West Ham United squad will now head off for a team bonding trip.

"We are going on a team bonding trip to Spain," explained Alan. "In the past these kind of trips would have been an excuse for a few drinks, but that certainly isn't going to be the case when we're away.

"The team spirit is fantastic at the Club and it's so important to us. We may not always have the technical advantage over teams, but our team spirit counts for so much and it pulls us above other teams."

Pards also revealed that Nigel Reo-Coker had turned his ankle in the first-half, and is now a serious doubt for England Under-21's match against France next week.