West Ham V Cardiff At Boleyn Ground : LIVE
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Morrison making good impression
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce believes this could be a breakthrough season for "changed man" Ravel Morrison.
Allardyce has detected a new sense of maturity in the midfielder after he returned from a loan spell at Birmingham to enjoy an impressive pre-season campaign.
Morrison has a chequered past and found himself in trouble both with the police and the Football Association while he was at Manchester United.
But the 20-year-old tweeted on the eve of the new Barclays Premier League season, which begins at home to Cardiff: "I am a changed man. Don't judge me on my past. Respect me for who I am and how I've developed #WordfromRav"
And that has not gone unnoticed by Allardyce, who was confident when he signed Morrison from Manchester United in January 2012 that he could get the best out of the midfielder.
"He does seem to have matured. He's obviously taken a good look at himself and decided that, if he is going to make it as a professional footballer, he needed to be more disciplined in his day-to-day life," Allardyce told the Evening Standard.
Morrison's big challenge will be to prove he can cut it in the maelstrom of the Premier League.
Allardyce continued: "I haven't had a word with him apart from encouraging him about how well pre-season has gone for him.
"His contribution in pre-season has been exciting for us. His big challenge will be when he gets his chance to play in the first team at competitive level.
"When the whistle goes on Saturday it is 100mph from the start. He will have to learn to cope with that but he is really promising and hopefully we look forward to him continuing to develop into a player who will play a part in the first team.
"We will give him the chance if he continues to do the things he is doing and discipline himself."
Morrison has some stiff competition to break into a West Ham starting line-up with the club not short on attacking talent, with Stewart Downing joining players such as Matt Jarvis, Joe Cole and Ricardo Vaz Te at Upton Park.
Downing, along with Razvan Rat, looks set to make his debut against Cardiff at Upton Park.
Downing's arrival from Liverpool leaves Hammers manager Sam Allardyce with a decision to make over who starts on the left wing, with Matt Jarvis also in contention.
West Ham will be without Andy Carroll (ankle), with Modibo Maiga set to start up front.
Cardiff manager Malky Mackay says has no problem dealing with the expectations of owner VincentTan after breaking the club transfer record three times this summer.
Malaysian businessman Tan vowed to back his manager in the transfer window after the club secured promotion back in April, and he has been true to his word.
The acquisitions of Danish striker Andreas Cornelius, Tottenham defender Steven Caulker and Sevilla midfielder Gary Medel have each raised Cardiff's record outlay, while John Brayford and Simon Moore have been brought in from Derby and Brentford respectively.
Tan has made it clear he expects to see a return on his investment, with Mackay still looking to make further additions to his squad. But the Scot is comfortable with the pressures that go with his level of expenditure.
"He (Tan) has expected results from last summer," he said.
"When I was offered the job, it was a three-year plan. His task for me was to be promoted last summer. That's expectation, that's pressure, so I have had that. Football managers are under pressure every week."
He added: "I've broken the transfer record three times, but it's where we are as a club.
"As far as myself and my staff are concerned we want to keep striving and make the club better in terms of facilities, the staff we bring in and the players we bring in and we have to try and get the best players here.
"I won't apologise for that and I will take my time and do it in the way I think is best for this football club. It was never going to be about quantity this summer, it was always going to be about quality."
Mackay is set to hand 18-year-old full-back Declan John a full debut with Andrew Taylor suspended, while Cornelius is doubtful after picking up a knock in training last week.
But Caulker and Medel, who trained with his new team-mates this morning, are in line to make their Cardiff debuts against the Hammers.
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