Pards looking forward to seeing old faces

Alan Pardew is looking forward to today's visit of his former club Charlton Athletic and the chance to catch up with a few old friends.

The Hammers boss spent four years playing for the Addicks between 1991 and 1995 and will guarantee a warm welcome for his old boss Alan Curbishley and assistant manager Keith Peacock - a man Pards describes as his mentor.

"I'm looking forward to the game against my old club," he says. "I have a lot of friends at Charlton and it will be especially nice to welcome Keith Peacock, my old mentor in the game.

"Keith does an invaluable job for Alan Curbishley and I'm looking forward to seeing them both. I had some good times at Charlton and they are a club who have made such fantastic progress on and off the field in recent years."

Pards will be hoping that his side can erase the memory of our last encounter at Upton Park - the disappointing 4-2 defeat against Harry Redknapp's Portsmouth - with victory against our London rivals today and reveals that, after three successive long away trips in the past fortnight, the remedy has been rest rather than hard work this week.

"I felt the three trips to north west took it out of us a little bit, and that we looked slightly tired against Manchester United on Wednesday," he says.

"Obviously that isn't the best state to face them in, but I thought we equipped ourselves well and might have taken something from the game had we been able to find that extra burst of energy.

"On reflection with the staff afterwards, we felt needed to give the guys some time and rest, and so they had two days off after we returned from Manchester.

"With professional sportsmen, sometimes the key is to rest, not work, and I think that is the right call for them this week.

"I will still pick my strongest team, and we are determined to give the home fans a performance to be proud of."