Pards: I take responsibility for defeat

Alan Pardew insisted on taking full responsibility for Saturday's 4-1 defeat at Bolton Wanderers, but says that his team will bounce back in the right manner when the two sides do battle again on Wednesday.

The Hammers boss certainly didn't pull any punches when reflecting on his team's heaviest loss of the season and, with an admirable sense of honesty, admitted that the wholesale changes made to his starting line-up simply didn't work on the day.

"I made some changes thinking that they would make us stronger defensively, but it didn't work out like that," said Pards.

"I thought that, with Anton protecting the back four, Shaun Newton on the right and Elliott Ward - who has done very well on loan at Plymouth - in defence, it would make us stronger, but unfortunately that wasn't the case.

"Perhaps there were too many changes. I wouldn't put the blame at anyone's door individually - it was a little bit of this and a little bit of that in the team today and I have to take responsibility for that.

"We also came up against a terrific performance from Bolton, and I think the result was a combination of us not looking sound with the changes and the opponents playing ever so well.

"It wasn't a case of us falling down completely - they were very good - and there were a couple of crucial blows for us that we failed to recover from."

The focus now switches to the FA Cup fifth round replay against Sam Allardyce's men at Upton Park on Wednesday night and, while some will say that the Trotters now hold a psychological advantage, Pards insists that the claret and blue faithful can be sure of a very different contest.

"With three big games for us this week, we wanted to come here and be solid," he said. "Obviously I rested a few players, not only for Wednesday, but also for the visit of Portsmouth next Saturday, because that is another big game for us at home.

"It's going to be different on Wednesday. We're coming back to Upton Park, where we feel we are much stronger, and we're hoping for a good response from our fans. I realise how disappointed they must have been to travel all that way and see us put that first half performance in because, even with the changes we made, we should have been better than that.

"It's important that we put this behind us quickly and approach Wednesday's game in the right manner, and I am sure the players will respond to that challenge."