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West Ham 19:45 FC Astra

Pardew: Deane could be key

By Patrick Goss.   Last Updated: 14/12/03 6:22pm

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Alan Pardew believes that Brian Deane could play a key role in sealing West Ham United's return to the Premiership.

Brought in purely as cover by Pardew, Deane has made an immediate impact, inspiring a second-half comeback for a 3-2 victory over Sunderland on Saturday.

The Irons manager now believes he must look again at the role he had originally planned for Deane.

"When I signed him I initially saw him as a player to bring in occasionally at the end of games," admitted Pardew. "Maybe I need to reassess that now.

"We gave him a little ripple of applause in the dressing-room after the game.

"I do that sometimes for players who have been exceptional. Make no mistake, when he came on he changed the game.

"He's got the character and experience to get out of this division and he showed that at half-time in the dressing room.

"I noticed him saying a few things and then he came on and inspired us. He doesn't jump up and down and shout, he's quietly spoken, but he knows what's needed.

"People like him are important, he has done it before."

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