Pards looking forward to the big kick-off

Alan Pardew says he is looking forward to an opening day clash against his former Club Charlton Athletic at Upton Park.

Following the announcement of the 2006-07 Premiership fixtures this morning, the Hammers boss commented: "I am delighted we have drawn a home fixture for the first game of the season. It is particularly nice for the fans as they get to see us open the campaign at Upton Park, so I am sure they are all very excited already.

"We got a great win against Blackburn last year and that obviously set the ball rolling for a fantastic season so hopefully we can do the same against Charlton and build on what we achieved.

"It will obviously be Ian Dowie's first competitive game in charge at Charlton and both him and myself will be coming up against our former Clubs, which will add something to the game. I am really looking forward to it and let's hope we can get three points on the board early on."

By Miranda Nagalingam