Pardew: my no-lose situation

  • by Matthew O'Greel
  • Saturday, 15th January 2005

Alan Pardew has called the battle for the goalkeeping slot a 'no-lose situation', ahead of today's visit to Wolverhampton.

Pardew must choose between regular number one Stephen Bywater and the impressive Jimmy Walker, who is yet to make a league start since his summer transfer from Walsall.

31-year-old Walker, who strengthened his claims for the number one slot with an excellent performance against Norwich last week appears to be favoured by the majority of supporters - although Bywater has done very little of late to suggest that he should be replaced.

All of which is a pleasant conundrum for Pardew, who told whufc.co.uk:

"It's a no lose situation for me.

"Jim put in a great performance against Norwich, but Steve is one of the best young goalkeepers in the world and has done nothing wrong this season.

"But I'm confident that whoever plays on Saturday will do a very good job for the Club."

It's a game that Pardew is relishing, and will be the first time he has pitted his wits against new Wolves boss Glenn Hoddle, who took over at Molineux last month.

"Glenn is a very good manager and I'm sure he'll do a super job there," says Pardew. "His assistant John Gorman was with me at Reading, and Glenn would often come down and join in with us.

"It's a new challenge for Glenn at this level, but he is starting to turn things around for them. They put in a very good performance to beat Millwall in the FA Cup last weekend.

"Wolves are a much better side than their League position suggests - and it'll be a very tough game for us."

Definitely out for the Hammers are Nigel Reo-Coker, Teddy Sheringham and Matthew Etherington, who is set to miss the next three games. Pardew explains:

"Matty has been forced to have an operation on his groin and will be out for three weeks. Unfortunately, it's a recurrence of the problem he had earlier in the season which the original keyhole surgery did not pick up.

"Nigel Reo-Coker has had pleurisy and is still feeling the effects whilst Teddy Sheringham has only trained once this week and is not fit enough to return. Both will be out for Saturday.

"But the players that were involved against Norwich did extremely well and we go into the game with a lot of confidence after that performance."

The squad travelling to Wolves is as follows:

Bywater, Walker; Repka, Brevett, Powell, Mackay, Ferdinand, Melville; Chadwick, Cohen, Mullins, Sofiane, Reid, Williams, Noble; Rebrov, Harewood, Zamora.

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