Pards: Let's roll up our sleeves for a battle

Alan Pardew insists it will be a case of rolling up the sleeves and winning the battle against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday in order to put an end to our losing run.

The Hammers boss will be hoping that his players can take all three points against our fiercest rivals at White Hart Lane, and believes that the required attitude and determination will be in place from the very first kick tomorrow afternoon.

"The mood has been very buoyant considering our results lately and I've been very pleased with that," he says. "The reaction has always been to try and put right the situation we are in, and that has been the same this week.

"We are working very hard and the mental attitude of all the players is that they know how massive a game this is for the club and for our fans of course, because Spurs are our biggest rivals, so it's important to get something there.

"We are looking to put our season back on track if you like and it would be perfect to get the win we are looking for there."

Apart from the rivalry between fans, there is also the matter of Spurs looking to avenge last season's final day defeat at Upton Park, which saw Hammers deny them qualification for the Champions League.

However, Pards insists his players will simply be concentrating on the job in hand and attempting to continue their good record against Spurs, which saw them take four points off Martin Jol's side last season.

He says: "We played very well in that last game of the season and deserved to win. There were a lot of issues for Spurs before the game, which were out of their control and ours. All we did was complete our job on the day.

"I'm sure the players and the coaching staff who were involved have bad memories of that day, but we can't worry about that and the extra motivation for us is more than enough to even that out, because of our results of late and the fact it is against Tottenham.

"It's a game for the players to roll up their sleeves and put in a dogged performance, he adds. "I think in the last two games we have been very much what we're about, without getting the results.

"It's about maybe changing our emphasis a bit more, in terms of making sure we are really strong as a unit, as a team, and don't give the opposition any easy goals. We had two great results against Spurs last year and we will be looking to take that again."

Pards reveals that much of the focus on the training field this week has been on improving our play in the last third of the field, and he also feels that the two goals scored by Marlon Harewood for the reserves in midweek will provide a big confidence boost.

He says: "I suppose you could say there has been a couple of millstones around our necks after not scoring lately, and we will certainly be aiming to score some goals.

"A win at Spurs would obviously change our scenario completely, it's easier to talk about then to do it, but that is what we are setting our sights on. There has been criticism of our play in the last third, we have perhaps tried to cross and set people up rather than take early shots, so we have been concentrating on producing more shots on target, not only from the strikers and the midfielders, but from all of the team.

"Marlon played in the reserve game this week and scored twice, one of the goals was a fantastic strike. We know what Marlon can do, he had a fantastic season last year and, while it hasn't started for him like that this year, there's no reason why he can't take the baton forward and go forward from there."

John Pantsil also came through that reserve fixture against Aston Villa on Tuesday without any effects and will be part of the squad that travels to Spurs at the weekend. George McCartney is expected to recover from a bout of sickness and Matty Etherington has overcome a slight knock.

Christian Dailly, who didn't train on Friday, should also be available for selection, while there is still a small doubt over Carlos Tevez, who has only one training session under his belt since picking up a knee injury while on international duty with Argentina earlier this month.

And as Hammers look to get back to winning ways in the most satisfying way possible at White Hart Lane, Pardew says it is a case of striking the right balance between attitude and quality and insists his players are not that far away from producing their best form.

"Sometimes when you go on runs like this, you can't see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I can honestly say that hasn't been the case here," he says. "I have seen a lot of good things in front of me and that's important.

"As I said, our performances in the last two games have been at a level I would expect from us and not too far away from the best stuff we can produce. The difference has been that goals and results have eluded us and that's what we have to get right again.

"You can show no fear when you are getting the results, so for me, it is about getting the balance right between that and playing in the right manner. Since I arrived at West Ham we have been playing in the right manner and that won't change.

"The mentality of the players can be affected by results of course, but they have been responding very well and are positive about themselves. In this type of game we have before us with Spurs, it's about making sure we have enough warriors out there on the pitch to deal with the task of getting the result we want."

By Laura Burkin