Pards' Passing Game

ALAN Pardew is looking forward to a fine example of passing football this evening as Hammers take on Aston Villa at Upton Park in front of the Sky TV cameras.

With both teams famed for playing fast, flowing football Pards believes tonight's clash will provide a viewing feast for those inside Upton Park and the millions watching on television.

"Both teams like to play football so I'm sure the game will be a good spectacle," he said. "I got to see Villa play at Portsmouth and I thought they played well. Kevin Phillips is in terrific form, and they've also got the option of Milan Baros and Juan Pablo Angel, which is a nice selection problem to have.

"Villa are going well and I think it will be a good game of football.

"We had a defeat in our last game, but the performance was of a level where we can take great belief from that match against Bolton. We know that we need to take our chances and that's something we're aware of, we have talked about and have worked on.

"We're approaching tonight's game in good spirits. We're in good form, we're playing well and we're looking forward to it."

Pards admits that this time of the season in the Premiership has been unusual with a two-week international break and a long period of time without his top players.

But the Hammers boss is glad of the two extra days he has had to prepare his squad and has no injury worries over his international stars.

"The break has given me the chance to get out and watch some other footall," he explained. "It's very unusual not to have had my players for a total of around 20 days at the start of the season.

"A huge part of my squad has not been with me, so the work that we've wanted to do recently we haven't been able to. Obviously things will settle down now and it's something that every team in the Premier League has had to deal with.

"Some teams went into the Saturday games with one days preparation, so at least we have had two extra days to prepare the team.

"I hope that will make a difference to the performance and it will be a big factor for both me and David O'Leary.

"All the international players came back okay and we've got a fit squad.

"I'll be picking from 22 top quality players and if we can make sure that we take our chances tonight then we've got a great chance to take the points."

"This is a strong squad and we're confident going into the game."