(Reuters) - New West Bromwich Albion boss Alan Pardew is convinced the quality in their squad will help him move the struggling team up the table, although he says it will take time for the players to adapt to his style of play.
Pardew replaced Tony Pulis as manager of 17th-placed West Brom on Wednesday, a first return to management since he was sacked by Crystal Palace midway through last season.
His first game in charge is at home against bottom-of-the-table Palace, a club the 56-year-old says is still “close to his heart”.
“It was freezing out on the training ground but it was great to be back out there,” Pardew told a news conference on Friday. “There’s a real honesty about the group I have and they feel as though they can play better. I believe they can too.
“Looking at the squad, I have got some real quality players here. There should be some signs of my style of play on Saturday. It won’t be completely nailed down of course. I’ve had two days on the training pitch. Hopefully we can get a win.”
West Brom have not won in the league since Aug. 19 and are two points above the relegation zone, but Pardew said victory over Palace, who are showing signs of life under Roy Hodgson with five points in their last three games, could ignite his team’s season.
“I had a long history with Palace, both as a player and a manager. And most of the players in their dressing room, I either brought them to the football club or gave them new contracts,” Pardew added.
“I have a strong affinity with the staff there as well. On that side of it, it will be slightly strange. But my determination to win will be no different.
“It’s all about momentum and trying to put a couple of wins together.”
Defender Kieran Gibbs and midfielder Matt Phillips are struggling to be fit for the match, but have not yet been ruled out.
Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis