Filed: Monday, 26th January 2004
By: Graeme Howlett
Jubilant Hammers boss Alan Pardew watched his team destroy Premiership outfit Wolves in yesterday's FA Cup fourth round tie before declaring 'we're in it to win it'.
Pardew - whose side made it three wins and a draw from their last four away games following yesterday's 2-1 win - stressed the importance of a good cup run when talking to reporters at the post-match press conference.
And despite the fact that all of the Premiership's top clubs remain in the competition, Pardew can see no reason why the Hammers cannot go on to emulate the team of 1980, which beat Arsenal in the final at Wembley - whilst then, as now, the Hammers were a second flight side.
"My belief is that you enter tournaments to win them, and not just to make up the numbers," he said.
"I know what the hopes and expectations are here. What we want to do now is keep the Cup run going and really give the fans something to get excited about.
"No one could fault us today because we played really well and thoroughly deserved our place in the next round.
"People keep talking about 1980 and all that, but I wouldnít say it was a millstone around my neck or anything like that.
"Of course it will be a tough call. There are some big teams left in but we will take confidence from this game."
In a fortnight that has seen no less than seven new arrivals at the club Pardew revealed that a new found optimism has been in the air at Chadwell Heath.
And the new belief that he appears to have installed in his side is something which Pardew hopes can now be replicated at Upton Park - where the Hammers have struggled of late.
"Thereís a buzz about the place at the moment, " he said. "Trainingís double lively and all the players who went out there today were determined to do well.
"We are not far away from being a very good team and today showed me that we have several players who could make it in the Premiership.
"I just hope the confidence spills over into the league. Iíve just heard that we have already sold out for our home game against Rotherham [next weekend].
"Thatís amazing given some of the rubbish we have served up in front of the fans at Upton Park.This team has only one issue and that is our home form.
"It hasnít been good for the past two or three years - and we need to sort it out."
The draw for the fifth round of the FA Cup takes place this lunchtime (Monday) at 12:30pm; Pardew - unlike many of the supporters - is praying for a home draw.
"Thereís a tradition about us and hopefully the fifth-round draw will be kind to us and get us a home tie," he added.
"Iím just hoping we get a home draw in the next round after going away in our first two games.
"Another plus of that is that getting through to the fifth round might free up some more finances to spend."
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