Pardew warning of Town backlash

HAMMERS boss Alan Pardew has warned his players to expect an Ipswich backlash after they lost to derby rivals Norwich.

HAMMERS boss Alan Pardew has warned his players to expect an Ipswich backlash after they lost to derby rivals Norwich, writes Derek Davis.

The recently appointed West Ham manager has also urged his team to follow the Blues example and put a strong run together.

“It was a disappointing day for them and they will have added enthusiasm to get a result at our place.

“It is not often they have two defeats on the spin, so it will be a tough call for us.

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“But we will have a big Boxing Day crowd and if we play anything like we did on Saturday with Jermain on the pitch we won't have problems.”

Ipswich were near the bottom when West Ham beat them earlier in the season but have done just what Pardew has exhorted his players to achieve - a consistent run of wins.

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He said: “We are definitely capable of having a run like they did and that is what we are working towards.

Pardew insists that progress is being made at the club - but that it is time to string a run of wins together to justify that.

“The proof is in the pudding, really; we are desperate to get promotion this year, though I have said all along I think it is a tough call for us.

“But we are giving it a good go and we are right in there, which is all you can do.

“We want to improve from there and the top two are certainly not away from us.”

As for the league table overall, he added: “I think Norwich are a bit of a surprise because the loan players have really helped them and although they got a great result against Ipswich, Huckerby and Crouch have gone back so we will see how they progress from here on in.

“But as far as everybody else is concerned it is pretty predictable - apart from ourselves, who should be doing better.”

The Hammers are expected to be unchanged from the side that drew at Walsall with skipper Christian Dailly still missing as he is suffering from pleurisy.

Jermain Defoe is available as he awaits a possible five-match ban following his dismissal at the Bescot Stadium, which Pardew has appealed against.

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