Pards: Our rewards will come

Defeat at White Hart Lane may have left West Ham languishing in 19th spot and goalless for 11 hours, but Alan Pardew still reckons that his troops can soon claw their way up the Premiership table to safety.

"Our spirit and our work-rate will, ultimately, bring their rewards," insisted the Hammers' boss after Mido's strike condemned West Ham to a seventh-successive defeat against north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

"I don't know about being in a relegation battle just yet, but we do find ourselves in the bottom three and we've now got to roll our sleeves up and all stick together.

"We need to get a goal and a win because we would then be able to build on that and see just where we could go from there. That would give everyone such a big boost.

"Although certain players can reach levels above where they are at the moment, there's definitely sufficient quality in this team. We showed enough today to suggest that we're not in imminent danger but we've still got to face facts and acknowledge just where we are after nine games. We certainly can't hide.

"If I can compare this performance to that of last year when Anton Ferdinand equalised to make it 1-1 in the last minute, then there wasn't too much in it apart from the actual result.

"Considering our recent form, I thought our effort was 100% and neither myself, as manager, nor the West Ham fans could fault that.

"Robert Green played very well on his debut and he made a fantastic save from Jermain Defoe in the first half, while I felt that Paul Konchesky was terrific today because Aaron Lennon was getting speed up and running at him."

But while Martin Jol had the luxury of welcoming the fit-again, lightning-paced Lennon back into the Spurs' fold, Pards' revealed that his game plan was wrecked by an eve-of-match injury to former White Hart Lane wide boy, Matthew Etherington.

"We lack a bit of balance in wide areas," he acknowledged. "Although we tried to sign another winger in the last window, he didn't arrive and it's been a blow to see Matty and Lee Bowyer pick up injuries because the game was crying out for them to come on and give us some width as we chased the game.

"You need a bit of quality and luck around the penalty area, too, and it's just so frustrating to still find ourselves looking for the formula that will give us that win.

"Some unfortunate breaks have also compounded matters this season and events such as Dean Ashton's injury plus all the takeover talk are very unusual circumstances," continued Pards, who saw Mido score in the third minute of announced 60 seconds of first-half stoppage time, moments after former Hammer Jermain Defoe had escaped with a booking that Jol revealed he had received for, apparently, playfully biting the grounded Javier Mascherano.

"I told the referee that I thought he'd played for too long but he just said: 'Keep your chin up!' and although I didn't actually see Jermain's reaction too well, he did gesture closely towards Javier, who was rightfully booked for his initial tackle.

"In this day and age, Defoe could have gone and that would have changed the match but that's just the sort of luck we're getting at the moment.

"Today's result now makes the Carling Cup tie at Chesterfield a massive game for us," concluded Pards ahead of Tuesday's testing trip to Saltergate. "They'll fancy their chances because they've had an extra day's rest and they also know that we're on a tricky run.

"I'm going to need to make three or four enforced changes to bring in some fresh legs and we'll certainly have to be on our guard up there."

by Steve Blowers