Katan waiting for chance

Yaniv Katan is more than happy to bide his time at West Ham, but is sure he can make a major impact in the Barclays Premiership when a chance does come his way.

The Israel forward arrived in England from Maccabi Haifa during the January transfer window and has made a handful of substitute appearances as manager Alan Pardew looks to ease the 25-year-old in.

With so much competition for places in attack, added to by the signing of £7million striker Dean Ashton last month, Katan is determined to make the most of any opportunities.

“At the moment, I have played small parts in games and that is right for me at this time,” said Katan, likely to be on the bench again for Monday night’s clash with Birmingham at Upton Park.

“The manager has been good to me in doing that and I feel happy about how he is bringing me into games.

“It is very fast football, you need to be strong, but this suits me. I like to be a strong player for the team and do a lot of running.”

The Hammers will be going for a seventh straight victory against the relegation-threatened Blues.

“The team is playing very well, so I also know that I will have to work really hard to earn my place, but I like working hard and I just look forward to playing,” Katan said in Hammers News.

“There is a good energy around the place, and I am already feeling a part of it all.

“When I am not playing, I am still happy for the team when we win – that is what it is like among all the players here.”

Defender Danny Gabbidon (shin) is a slight fitness concern, while Shaka Hislop will continue in goal as Roy Carroll continues to recover from a back problem.

Pardew must decide whether to bring leading scorer Marlon Harewood back into the starting XI after he came off the bench against Sunderland to help set up Ashton for a debut goal last week.

“In all honesty, he has been brilliant this year,” the Hammers boss said of his 10-goal striker.

“It is difficult to put into context who is our best player, but he is certainly up there with them.

“I genuinely felt of all the people, he needed to be rested – but he did not want to be.

“Marlon changed the game on Saturday. He has had some criticism in the past, but it just goes to show how important he is to us when he comes on.”

Pardew added: “Sometimes he just needs to focus on what he is good at – but he has done that really well at times this year.

“I have been so pleased with him, and am just disappointed he has not got more goals because some of his play has deserved it.”

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