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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Dec 16, 2006

Three points on Curbs' agenda against Man Utd

Alan Curbishley's starting XI against Manchester United will reflect what he has seen in his first days at West Ham, with the new boss declaring: 'The only agenda I've got is getting three points.'

Curbishley was appointed as Alan Pardew's successor on Wednesday following a self-imposed break from the game after his 15 years as Charlton boss finished at the end of last season.

His first game, against Premiership leaders United tomorrow at Upton Park, will see his new side attempt to drag themselves out of the bottom three.

Among the immediate issues Curbishley faces is where Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano fit into his squad, the Argentina pair having been brought to the club early in the season and then blamed for having an unsettling effect.

Skipper Nigel Reo-Coker has also been linked with a move away from Upton Park, but Curbishley said: 'I've not really had a chat to Reo-Coker about anything.

'I've tried to speak to as many people as I can but I haven't spoken to him.

'I'm not going to come in here and smash things about, I'm not looking to do anything there - I just want to see a reaction.'

He added: 'The only agenda I've got is getting three points.'

Forward Tevez has shown improvement in recent weeks, while midfielder Mascherano has been reported as a target for Juventus.

'They're here and have to force their way into the side,' said Curbishley.

'It's a clean slate, the side I pick will be based on what I've seen in the last two days, not what's happened before.

'I expect the XI that get the nod to do their best, and the other players to back it - by next week it could change with injuries and suspension.'

Curbishley's opening fixture, against the league leaders, represents a tough start to his reign, and he felt the hunger United have this season from a trip to their Carrington training ground earlier in the campaign.

'I realised then from Fergie (Sir Alex Ferguson) and the whole place that they were up for the fight,' he added.

'They have done what they haven't done in the last few seasons by having a terrific start - now they find themselves out in front and really fancy their chances.'

Curbishley will be without centre-back Danny Gabbidon with a hamstring strain but Anton Ferdinand is expected to be fit despite a recent ankle problem.

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