Pardew and Police Aim to Take Heat out of New Den Clash
Byline: TIM NICHOLS
WEST HAM'S players have been asked to be on their best behaviour when they face London rivals Millwall tomorrow, after it was revealed that more than 1,000 police will be on duty at the potentially volatile New Den clash.
The Hammers have not visited Millwall territory since 1992 at Cold Blow Lane and manager Alan Pardew is well aware of the implications of any on- field incidents for a game requiring the heaviest policing in English football history.
Pardew said: 'I'm going to ask my players to conduct themselves in the correct manner. We will be aggressive, because you need to be, but there have been times this season when we have shown some really poor discipline. We have to control ourselves.' There will be nearly three times as many police on duty for this First Division match as there were for England's European Championship qualifier against Turkey in Sunderland last year, emphasising the authorities' fears over the combustible nature of the fixture.
The security measures are expected to cost [pounds sterling]270,000 as police attempt to defuse any hostilities between rival supporters.
Fans will be tracked across London and special trains have been laid on to ensure that the two sets of fans are kept apart.
West Ham and Millwall have sold tickets only to club members and season ticket-holders and the kick- off has been brought forward to midday to reduce the impact of pre-match drinking.
Riot police at the ground will try to ensure that there is no repetition of the events that scarred Millwall's play- o f f defeat against Birmingham in 2002, when around 900 Millwall fans attacked police, burned cars and damaged property outside the ground.
The riot left 46 police officers and 26 police horses injured.
Police Commander Bob Broadhurst said: 'Our aim is to create a safe and peaceful environment for fans to enjoy the event.' Pardew hopes the fact that the game is to be played on Mother's Day will have a calming influence on the fans.
He said: 'My message to the fans is that society is moving on and the days of tribalism and fighting are for the ignorant. …