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HUGHTON'S NOTES

Posted on 21 October 2006  - 12:00

Chris Hughton's regular assessment of our forthcoming opponents - next up, West Ham in the Premiership at the Lane on Sunday.

Chris Hughton's regular assessment of our forthcoming opponents - next up, West Ham in the Premiership at the Lane on Sunday.

SOMETIMES, when a side has had such a good season, you can get teething problems at the start of the next season - we come into this category as well - and that's all I would put West Ham's start down to.

They have a good squad at West Ham, a real good base of players.

Losing Dean Ashton to injury was obviously a massive blow for them and Matty Etherington as well, he missed a few games at the start of the season and is a big player for them, he works hard down that left side and gets his crosses in.

They have a very good manager in Alan Pardew, a good spirit and it won't be long before they are back to winning ways and getting back to where they were last season.

They will set up in a 4-4-2 system and looking at the last game at Portsmouth it was similar to their team of last season, in fact most of the players were regulars last season with the addition of Jonathan Spectre at right-back. At the back it was Spectre alongside Ferdinand, Gabbidon and Konchesky.

It was the same in midfield with Mullins, Reo-Coker, Etherington on the left and Benayoun on the right with Teddy and Bobby Zamora up front. Harewood also came off the bench. They have options with Javier Mascherano in midfield, Carlos Tevez and Carlton Cole up front. They are a good side and a young side.

I don't expect them to struggle for too much longer and they've always enjoyed coming to White Hart Lane in recent years, when we've had good games. I would expect them to start climbing up the table soon and for Sunday to be another tough test for us.