Hammers Earn Slice Of Luck

HAMMERS boss Alan Pardew believes his team deserved the three points they claimed with a 2-1 victory over Middlesbrough, even if West Ham United's second goal owed a lot to a generous piece of officiating.

Pards was delighted with the performance of his team, who responded to the defeat at Manchester City with an excellent display against Boro.

"It was a big, big win for us," insisted Alan, "and I thought it was a strong performance from us.

"We were playing well and I always thought that we'd get a second goal, although I didn't expect it to come in the circumstances which arose.

"I've seen the incident again and I have to be honest and say there was no way it was a goal. We got a bit of luck, but I thought we earned it with a hard working display and a real team effort.

"It was a good bit of fortune for us, because it gave us the cushion we needed to go on and seal the points.

"But I thought that we were the better team over the 90 minutes and deserved to win regardless.

"We'll take a lot of confidence from that result into what will be another important week for us."

Although Pards was quick to praise the all-round effort of his team, the Hammers boss reserved special mentions for three of his more experienced stars.

"Shaka Hislop came in and was very sound," added Alan. "He didn't look troubled and although he didn't have a whole lot to do he did what he had to do very well.

"Tomas Repka also showed a lot of character and had a terrific game at right-back.

"After a couple of indifferent performances people might have thought he would be edgy. But he came back against Middlesbrough with a very calm display and was an important part of the victory."

Of course, then there was Teddy Sheringham. Named among the substitutes the 39-year-old striker came off the bench to fire Hammers ahead and inspire them to their third home victory of the season.

"Teddy wasn't happy about being left out," confessed Pards. "I didn't tell him the reason why, but I felt that we needed some more energy in attack against a team that were quite static.

"But there is no better player to have coming off the bench than Teddy Sheringham, and he proved that by coming on and doing brilliantly."

The influence of the assistant referee could not be ignored, but having secured another victory at Upton Park, Pards could afford to smile about the incident.

"I felt the overall shape of the team was good against Middlesbrough," he added.

"We got a good break, but in many ways I think we earned that break, so well done the linesman. Was he Russian?"