Harewood believes in safety first
By Chris Stanton
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
West Ham's Marlon Harewood is not getting carried away by the prospect of Europe.
West Ham's in-form striker Marlon Harewood insists his club are not getting carried away by the prospect of qualifying for European competition.
The Hammers, who only regained their top flight status at the beginning of this season, had won eight matches in succession before Saturday's goalless draw with Bolton at The Reebok Stadium.
That form has seen Alan Pardew's side rocket into sixth and, with The Hammers now level on points with Arsenal, many observers are talking of the East London club as very real contenders for a European berth.
But Harewood has moved to counter such complacency and revealed manager Pardew's mindset remains on Premiership safety and not the more lofty aspirations being widely-touted.
"The gaffer hasn't been talking about it," Harewood told Sky Sports News.
"I don't know if he's talking to you about it but he just keeps talking to us about staying up and keeping the run going like we're doing now.
"That's all we're worrying about in our first season in The Premiership - we just want to stay there."
Harewood's team-mate Anton Ferdinand has received rave reviews for his performances in The Hammers' recent run of excellent form with some observers trumpeting the defender's England claims.
Ferdinand has even been linked with a dream move to Barcelona and Harewood admits he is not surprised at the praise being lavished on the young prospect.
"It's not too early for Anton, he can take anything that comes at him - he's that kind of person and I think it'll be great for him," added Harewood, in response to questions concerning Ferdinand's England credentials.
"I'm not at all surprised [about the Barca link], he's a decent centre half who has got everything really that a club centre half needs and he can carry on from there."
Meanwhile, long-term Hammers absentee Jimmy Walker is poised to make his long-awaited return from a serious knee injury.
Walker suffered cruciate ligament damage in his side's Championship play-off final victory over Preston last May.
However, after a grueling rehabilitation programme, the former Walsall man is finally set for action and will turn out against Leicester reserves on Wednesday.