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By ESPN Staff

'West Ham duo will play through pain' - Pardew

West Ham manager Alan Pardew will ask his FA Cup final crocks Dean Ashton and Matthew Etherington to play through their pain against Liverpool at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium on Saturday.

'Apart from Deano and Matty everybody is fit,' said Pardew. 'and we still have a fair bit of time left before the final.

'We have had an injury-prevention policy here this season and been fortunate but this is FA Cup final week after all and we expect people to put their lives on the line.

'When I was a player at Crystal Palace my manager Steve Coppell would ask about people's injuries and ask whether it was just pain. If it is just pain you can play in a match like this.'

The chances of £7.25million striker Ashton turning out in Saturday's showpiece have improved dramatically over the past few days and he could be back in training tomorrow.

He strained a hamstring against West Brom 11 days ago and was taken off after just 23 minutes, but his hopes of facing Liverpool are now described as '60-40'.

Etherington was withdrawn from the warm-up against Albion as a precaution against a strained abductor muscle but has since picked up a worse knock on the ankle in training.

Pardew said: 'At least Matthew has given himself a bit more of a chance. The swelling has gone down from when he first did the damage.

'I will start working on my cup final team now and even if Deano and Matty can't train yet I have players of a similar ilk I can use to take their roles if I think they will be fit in time for the final.'