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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 October, 2003, 13:33 GMT 14:33 UK
Pardew makes Mullins swoop
Hayden Mullins
Mullins is to become West Ham's 'destroyer'
Alan Pardew has made his first signing as West Ham manager with the capture of Hayden Mullins from Crystal Palace.

Pardew has initially signed Mullins on loan so the versatile midfielder can play against Nottingham Forest on Tuesday.

But the move is expected to be made permanent for a player Pardew believes is capable of performing in the Premiership.

"I thought it was important that we boosted the squad quickly, and I have captured a player that I feel is going to add significantly to us," said the West Ham boss.

"The beauty of Hayden is that he can play in various positions and give us cover in a number of those, though unfortunately, that has held back his progress in the last couple of years.

He needs to get another 20% out of his game - I see that is in there, and it is up to me to get that out of him
Alan Pardew

"He is 24 and has played 250-odd first division or Premier League games - and in my opinion this boy is a Premier League player."

Pardew, speaking to the official West Ham website, added: "I think ultimately he is a central midfield player for us and I think his energy will be important; he will have to battle in the midfield.

"He is someone we are going to look to when we are up against it, to win the battle and give the room to people like Don Hutchison, Michael Carrick, Rob Lee, and Kevin Horlock to play.

"He is very much a destroyer and I think we are desperate for one of those."

Mullins has attracted interest from several top-flight clubs who have decided against taking a chance on him.

"I think, to be fair, Premier League clubs have looked at him for a long time and not gone for him," said Pardew.

"I feel that is as much his fault as them not taking the gamble, and he needs to get another 20% out of his game - I see that is in there, and it is up to me to get that out of him.

"He has got to be a better player at West Ham than he was at Palace - I think he can be, and I have no doubt he can cope at the top level."

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