Pardew presses squad to stay up with pace

Alan Pardew, the West Ham manager, believes his side can remain in the thick of the promotion chase after they moved into fourth place in the Coca-Cola Championship by beating Rotherham on Tuesday night.

Alan Pardew, the West Ham manager, believes his side can remain in the thick of the promotion chase after they moved into fourth place in the Coca-Cola Championship by beating Rotherham on Tuesday night.

When Pardew took over at Upton Park midway through last season the Hammers had already lost realistic touch with with the automatic promotion places and they lost out to Crystal Palace in the play-offs for promotion to the Premiership.

Pardew knows his side cannot afford to slip off the pace this season and, having reshaped West Ham into a side he is confident can win the Championship, his confidence will be put to the test when they play promotion rivals Ipswich on Saturday.

"The goal for us against Rotherham was to get three points and set up the Ipswich game. We'll have a top-of-the-table clash on Saturday," Pardew said yesterday. "I felt a lot of our frustration last season came from the fact we were so far behind the top two, but no one has got away from us as yet this season. I am hoping we stay patient. The crowd were terrific last night, they could see we were trying to break Rotherham down the right way, not just bashing them."

Eventually Matthew Etherington's free-kick earned West Ham the reward their endeavours deserved. Pardew blooded four new players on Tuesday, with centre-backs Calum Davenport and Malky Mackay, full-back Chris Powell and midfielder Carl Fletcher all making their debuts, leaving Hayden Mullins and Rufus Brevett relegated to the bench.

"We have a squad good enough to win this league," Pardew said. "It poses me a few questions for Ispwich. I did speak to Mullins and Brevett and, obviously, they were not pleased, they want to play for West Ham. It is important those heads don't go down and that they push me to play them.

"It's all very well having players with reputations but there is another vital ingredient that all successful teams need and that is spirit, a desire to fight back when things aren't going your way."

Powell, the former England international whom Pardew brought in on loan from Charlton, stressed his commitment to winning promotion: "Sometimes you don't realise what sort of club this is; I have watched a number of games here over the years and my late dad supported West Ham back in the Sixties," Powell said. "He would have been really proud of me and I had a lump in my throat just before kick-off. I have made it here in the end and I am sure he was somewhere looking down on me.

"We have had some great times over the years with winning trophies and one day we will get back to that."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable