Pardew intent on victory despite injury problems

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The Independent Football

Many top-flight managers have viewed the competition as an opportunity to blood youngsters and give their fringe players a chance to impress, sometimes at a cost to the chance of victory.

Pardew, though, knows results breed confidence and is determined to maintain the Hammers' promising opening to the new season with a decent cup run.

"I want this club to win trophies," Pardew declared. "We are going to go there to try to win the game. Taking on Bolton at [their] home is a tricky match, but we will go into in it in good spirits."

With several first-team players - including defenders Anton Ferdinand and Paul Konchesky, as well as midfielder Matthew Etherington - reporting fitness concerns following the victory over Middlesbrough on Sunday, Pardew admits changes could be forced upon him at the Reebok Stadium tonight.

"We have got some fresh players, and I will certainly look to introduce a couple because we have a few knocks," said the Hammers manager

Pardew's blend of youth and experience appears to be paying dividends so far, with West Ham now back in the top 10 of the Premiership following Sunday's victory, which was helped in part by a controversial decision from assistant referee Ralph Bone to award them a second goal.

However, a run of just two defeats from their opening nine league games shows that the east London side - promoted last season via the play-offs - are certainly difficult to beat.

One of those defeats, though, came at home to Bolton at the end of August.

The assistant manager, Peter Grant, maintains that the Hammers have learnt a lot from that encounter. "We probably dominated 95 per cent of the game, yet still ended up losing 2-1," reflected Grant.

"I think that was a wake-up call for us to realise we were in the Premier League, where you can have games where you dominate and still end up losing."

West Ham booked their place in the third round of the Carling Cup with a 4-2 victory at Sheffield Wednesday, where the likes of youngsters Tony Stokes, Chris Cohen, Elliott Ward, James Collins and Gavin Williams all got a run-out.

But Grant maintains the manager will always select the strongest side possible. "We made a few changes the last time, but we didn't play our reserves," Grant insisted. "We did it to give guys games who nine times out of 10 would have been in the first team.

"We want to win every game we take part in because that builds confidence in the team and around the workplace. If we had lost that game people wouldn't have said 'oh well, it was the reserves' - they would have said, 'we lost that game'. That's the bottom line."

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