Pards: We're aiming for Europe

After watching his side see off Birmingham City in comprehensive fashion, Alan Pardew is now boldly prepared to step where other bosses fear to tread.

"I'm not going to be like some managers and say let's not talk about Europe because there's a genuine chance that we could qualify," insisted Pards after seeing Marlon Harewood's double-barrelled blast and a Dean Ashton header send Hammers to a sensational seventh straight win.

"Standing on the sidelines, I can see that there's a lot of power in this team and if we can keep our confidence levels where they are, then we've got a good opportunity.

"Sure, the game can play tricks on you, we could pick up injuries and it could all suddenly turn ugly but it would be unwise to ignore the situation we're in right now.

"We've still got the traditions that Ron Greenwood started here, this young side plays vibrant football and I don't want to put any negatives into the minds of my players.

"I've just said to them that we've come through the struggle of last year's play-offs and we've now got 41 points in the Premiership. That's the most points any West Ham United team has ever had at this stage of the season in the Premier League.

"We wanted that record badly and, at this stage of the campaign, that's a very good total to have on the board.

"Now we've got the possibility of a great season in front of us," he insisted after Hammers marched onward and upwards into sixth place. "Some teams have got to this stage of the campaign before and then they've just switched off and the results have stopped flowing.

"For my part, I now need to make sure that this team keeps its focus and doesn't get carried away because - apart from four clubs who are, perhaps, a bit beyond our reach - every game is winnable.

"We're as competitive as anybody in this league and we should attack every match we go into between now and May.

"Let's just keep working hard and let's see what happens"