Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Christmas Bash Gives Pardew an Injury Headache

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Christmas Bash Gives Pardew an Injury Headache

Article excerpt

Byline: KEN DYER

WEST HAM have been hit by a spate of injuries before tonight's Premiership clash against Wigan.

Yossi Benayoun, Teddy Sheringham and Danny Gabbidon are definitely out for tonight's home match while there are major doubts about Nigel Reo-Coker, Tomas Repka, Paul Konchesky and Matthew Etherington, all of whom picked up injuries in the Boxing Day 1-1 draw at Portsmouth.

"We're struggling with knocks," admitted West Ham manager Alan Pardew.

"Tomas Repka is doubtful with a hamstring problem, as is Nigel Reo-Coker who took a kick on the ankle he fractured.

"Paul Konchesky and Matty Etherington are both sore but we're hoping they will be OK."

Central defender Gabbidon reopened the cut in his leg in his first tackle after coming on as a substitute at Fratton Park, and will now be sidelined at least until after next month's FA Cup third round tie at Norwich.

"We've been lucky with injuries in the first part of the season, but now we have a crop of them," said Pardew. "It might be that we just get through this game somehow and then have a few back for the next match at Charlton.

"It's a credit to this squad, though, that throughout the season so far we've been fairly consistent with results. We lost Nigel Reo-Coker for a period, Roy Carroll for a spell, Teddy as well, but we've still picked up points."

Pardew had Wigan watched in their 4-3 win over Manchester City and said today: "I know Wigan more than most managers having played against them, not only in the Championship but down in the First Division when both they and Reading were trying to get promotion.

"From what I know of them and us, I would say the high energy rate of both teams will be stretched to the limit in tonight's match and it will be interesting to see who comes out on top. I believe you have to play a specific way against them and there are certain tactics we'll put in place which, I hope, will stand us in good stead and which have worked in the past against Paul Jewell's teams."

Wigan have been the pick of the promoted teams so far yet Pardew believes it is only now that some of their players are beginning to be noticed. …

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