No Fear For Pards

ALAN Pardew believes West Ham United's defence will have to be right on its game for the visit to Anfield, and insists his team will play without fear against the European Champions.

He said: "Danny and Anton have been fantastic in the centre and from that our defensive record in the Premiership speaks volumes.

"Against Bolton on Wednesday night, it showed that I have the four best young centre-backs in the country, after the fantastic performance put in by Elliott Ward and James Collins, but all the back four deserve praise, whoever has played there for us.
"We've got great respect for Peter Crouch, but we've got a contingency plan with whoever is playing, whether it be Crouch, Luis Garcia or Fernando Morientes"

"Every game we have to change tactically, because if we didn't and we did the same thing in every game, we would be getting beat by now, because other teams would know exactly what we're doing.
"You tinker and change tactics with every game to some degree and we'll probably change things again at Liverpool, but the philosophy stays the same.
"That's not to just stay on the backfoot but to go on the front foot and look to hurt the home team, whatever our tactical plan is."
Pards knows that playing against the European Champions could be a daunting prospect, but once again the Hammers boss is concentrating on eliminating any fear factor going into the Anfield showdown.

He said: "Myself and all my staff have constantly encouraged this aspect in the side, the players having no fear, not being intimidated. You can't look at names,figures and the history of everything, because you wouldn't be able to go out there and play.
"We'll just go to Anfield, look at what will be 11 players in front of us and look forward to testing our assets against theirs.
"The pace and power we've got, along with defending strongly has made us a threat away from home and that's something we want to continue.
"It's a challenge for us, you have to remember they are the European champions, but we're very much looking forward to it."
Pards has identified the midfield area as one of the key battlegrounds on the day.

He said: "Nigel Reo-Coker has been fantastic and I think there's that connection between a young England player (Nigel) coming through and an established England player in Steven Gerrard, so that will be an interesting one.
"But I feel the clash of the day, will be between Hayden Mullins and Steven Gerrard, because Hayden will probably have the job of looking after Gerrard if he plays.

"Hayden has been one of our best players this season without a doubt. I thought he was terrific again in the Bolton game midweek and it will be an intriguing battle between them."
"If you look at several midfielders, you get those who are the builders and those who orchestrate the play more, Hayden has a balance between the two, which is great.

"He's really played at a high level this season, it's no surprise to me. The only problem I've had with him is that he has sometimes played within himself.
"He's such an amicable guy, he's got that type of character and you always want to push him on and inspire and encourage him and I think we're seeing a lot of that in his game now.
"His nickname is Casual, not because of the way he plays, but his character is laid-back, he's a terrific little character. He's relishing everything at the moment and enjoying his football and that's really coming through in his play."
"I think he could play in any Premiership side, we're really pleased with how he's doing. He's keeping the Scotland Captain, Christian Dailly out of the starting line up in games, that's no mean feat because Christian is playing very well also, but that shows you the level Hayden's playing at.

"He's an important figure for West Ham and if he continues to grow as he has been doing, he's still at a good age, then he'll be an important figure for some time to come for the team. He and Nigel have a nice balance and hopefully they can put that to good use on Saturday again."