Guy Demel admitted West Ham United did not perform well enough in Saturday's 3-1 pre-season defeat at Ipswich Town.

Employing an experimental 4-4-2 formation, the Hammers started slowly at Portman Road and found themselves two goals down to the npower Championship side within the opening 20 minutes. The first was a Michael Chopra penalty, while the second saw an unmarked Luke Chambers head in Lee Martin's free-kick.

West Ham did improve after half-time and Matt Taylor halved the deficit, but Ipswich added a late third when Jason Scotland took advantage of another mistake to fire into the far corner.

Demel, who completed a full 90 minutes at right-back, conceded that the Hammers had not deserved anything from the game. However, he told West Ham TV that he is confident the squad will have ironed out any deficiencies come the big Barclays Premier League kick-off against Aston Villa on 18 August.

"I think we took the game seriously but we didn't play well early in the game and we conceded two goals," said the Ivorian. "After that, it was difficult for us to come back because Ipswich played with confidence. It was hard for us to get the ball and to play our football.

"There are a lot of things we can learn from this game. They were bad things for us, but even if it wasn't nice and we weren't happy with the result, it was better that it happened now because we can work hard over the next two weeks to prepare for the Premier League."

The players will be back on the training pitch at Chadwell Heath on Sunday morning before flying to Portugal early next week for their final pre-season fixture.

West Ham take on UEFA Champions League qualifiers SC Braga in Portugal on Friday night and Demel believes the match will be vital in shaping the team's preparations for the season ahead. In short, the No20 said they could not afford to repeate the mistakes made against Ipswich against opposition as good as Braga.

"I think this will be most important game of our pre-season because it is the last game. We have played some good and bad games in pre-season, but in this one there will be no excuse because it is the last one before we play Aston Villa in the Premier League.

"We must be at 100 per cent physically and mentally. This game will give us more information about how well we are and where we will be at the start of the season."

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