Filed: Tuesday, 28th October 2003
By: Graeme Howlett
On loan full back Robbie Stockdale has been cleared to play for the Hammers against Tottenham in tomorrow night's Carling Cup clash.
Stockdale - who appears in the back pages of today's tabloids pleading with Middlesbrough to allow him to play in the game, which would effectively 'cup-tie' him for the remainder of the competition - was given clearance by 'Boro last night, according to Hammers boss Alan Pardew.
"I said we were struggling and desperately needed Robbie," Pardew told whufc.com this morning. "Thankfully they made the decision."
The news is a big boost to Pardew, who goes into the game without David Connolly and Hayden Mullins - both injured at Cardiff on Saturday - whilst doubts remain over Ian Pearce and Kevin Horlock, who are both thought unlikely to play.
And it will come as a relief to the 23-year-old full-back, who pleaded with his club yesterday to be allowed to play in what will no doubt be a white-hot atmosphere at White Hart Lane - whilst hinting that should things go well during the next month he would be delighted to resurrect his career in London.
"It would be a great game to play in; hopefully we can put a bit of pressure on Middlesbrough to let me do that," he had said.
"It has come to a stage in my career when I want to play football - and I am grateful to West Ham for giving me the opportunity to come here.
"I am enjoying playing again. I have grown up with Middlesbrough since I have been a young lad, it is my club, the one I have always supported and wanted to play for.
"But things haven't worked out well for me there so I have got to make the most of my time at West Ham and hopefully earn myself a proper move."
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