Monday, August 15, 2005


Pardew on Blackburn

Pardew's post match interview after West Ham's 3-1 win over Blackburn at Upton Park.

"This is a great day for the club. I felt we looked a bit nervous, a bit edgy early on. There was a huge crowd, there is always expectation at Upton Park and I felt we were giving them too much respect and made mistakes. It could have been a horrible afternoon because they could have got a second. But once we got through that I felt confident we could get something out of the game.

"We spoke at half time about belief and for the first 20 minutes we didn't have that, we then had a good spell towards the end of the first half and at half time we talked about the need to keep passing the ball - we felt that they wouldn't be able to keep going at that rate and that proved to be true.

"We had three things going for us. First we had the character of the team which we showed last season and that came through again. We had pace in the team and that was a key factor today, and also the fitness levels and power in the team. We had those things last year but it was a question of whether we had the quality and it was nice to see the quality out there today.

"Although we got the victory the most important thing is that we were competitive today and we can take that into the season. It's a bonus to get the win and to win in such a measured way and with the stadium jumping up and down like that it is a great day for West Ham. We should enjoy it and then we move on to Monday morning.
So there were some real good pluses to come out of this game and we can look forward to Newcastle with a win under our belt which is a nice feeling."

When asked about individual performances, the West Ham boss replied, "I don't want to sit here and pick anybody out. I've been here about 18 months and I've never seen the stadium like that. It was a fantastic day for us. We're not getting carried away - it's one win and we are all pleased with that because you can wait a long time for a first win in the Premier League. We have got that under our belts but the stadium has really given me heart. If they can be like that every week it'll make things difficult for the opposition.

"The two centre halves had a tough time today and I thought they were terrific. Hayden Mullins had one of the best games I've seen him play at West Ham and obviously Marlon Harewood up front had one of his most complete performances in the Premier League.

"Teddy's personality is so potent to us. The period before half time was crucial to us and it was Teddy who was setting things off for us.It's no good having all pace and power if you have no-one to think for the team. Teddy does that and Yossi has been brought in to do that which he did towards the end of the game in a position that's more natural to him just behind the front two. Teddy's never pleased to come off - he's a superstar on my eyes. I don't like taking him off but at this level sometimes we need to seal the game. He's never pleased when I take him off so I expect I'll be getting some stick!"

* Photos from the match at On-The-Terraces.

* Yossi Benayoun has pulled out of the Israel squad in order to rest and train with his new club. The 25-year-old playmaker, who got two assists for his club on the weekend, asked his national team coach Avraham Grant if he could miss their match against Ukraine at Kiev tonight so that he could concentrate on West Ham's upcoming trip to Newcastle.

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