Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Sheringham Denies Pardew Rift Rumour

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Sheringham Denies Pardew Rift Rumour

Article excerpt

Byline: KEN DYER;WAYNE VEYSEY

TEDDY SHERINGHAM today denied rumours of a rift between him and West Ham manager Alan Pardew.

The veteran striker played his first game in six weeks last weekend after recovering from a thigh injury and will be in the squad to face Leeds at Upton Park tonight.

He said: "This has been going on for two months now. The fact is, I've never had any problem with Alan Pardew at any point. I nearly joined him at Reading before I went to Portsmouth and was very impressed with him then - nothing has changed.

"He has had to sell a lot of good players and replace them at a fraction of the cost. That's not easy, but he's dealing with it and never grumbles. A rift? It's just not there."

Sheringham, 38, believes the West Ham boss has received some unfair criticism this season.

"I've been very impressed with him," he said. "I like the way he talks to the players, particularly the youngsters. I can see something of Fergie in him in the way he gets his message across to the players."

Pardew also claimed there was no truth in whispers that the pair had fallen out. He said: "There was no foundation in that whatsoever and I am delighted Teddy is back, fit and in the squad for tonight's match."

It will be the first meeting between West Ham and Leeds at Upton Park since November 2002, with West Ham relegated that season and the Yorkshire side following them the following year.

Though the pull of these two clubs remains, more than 30,000 fans are expected to turn up at Upton Park tonight despite the fact that the match is live on TV, the aftershock of relegation has been a painful experience for both sides.

"We are two big clubs," Pardew said today, "who were both banking on going on to the next level in the Premiership rather than, in the case of a club such as Leicester, adopting a more cautious approach.

"When relegation came to West Ham and Leeds though, the effects were more profound and that has caused a lot of negativity. …

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