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2012-11-20T11:58:00 Updated 2015-02-19T01:39:54

'We showed what we are capable of'

George McCartney hailed the fight shown by West Ham United after they came from a goal down to secure a valuable point against a resilient Stoke City.

The Potters took a first-half lead through Jon Walters before McCartney's fellow full-back Joey O'Brien equalised three minutes after the restart. The Hammers then proceeded to dominate the second half, with the Northern Irishman at the focal point of a number of threatening attacks.

Reflecting on yet another positive result in the Barclays Premier League, McCartney told West Ham TV he thought the second 45 minutes was West Ham's best period of an impressive season so far.

"In the second-half we really showed what we are capable of and for me it was the best we have played all season," said the left-back, who came close to chalking up an assist when Kevin Nolan's volley was saved by Asmir Begovic.

"Our passing was great, we created a host of chance and I think that we were very unfortunate not to win the game.

"Stoke are a very tough team to break down, even more so when they go a goal up, so to respond like we did and get a point is very pleasing.

"They have a lot of good, strong players in their squad but we were excellent in the second half and by far the better team. We deserved to win."

Stoke were the better side before half-time, not allowing West Ham space in the midfield or the hosts' wide players to get in behind their own back four.

Tony Pulis's side were rewarded when Walters lost McCartney inside the penalty area to sweep home Glenn Whelan's corner. However, the No3 was blocked off by Potters midfielder Charlie Adam in a clearly rehearsed training ground move.

"I think you always expect a tough, physical game against Stoke because they are a very difficult team to play against. In the first half we found it hard to get in behind them, it was probably not the best game to watch and after they took the lead it was always going to be tough.

"It was obviously a well-worked set piece and that is a big part of their game. It was a very good finish, but it is always disappointing to concede in that fashion.

"Walters made the run and Adam blocked me off. Once you get someone in that position, they are always going to make you pay, but if the referee had seen the block I think it would have given a free-kick."

Despite the disappointment of falling behind, West Ham regrouped at the break and came out a completely different side after half-time.

Less than a minute into the second period, McCartney crossed for Nolan, who was denied by Begovic, but it would not be long before the home team got their reward through O'Brien's close-range finish.

"The manager was very good at half-time - he just told us to lift the tempo and play like we know we can and have done already this season.

"Thankfully we did just that and we dominated the half and, on another night, we could have had three or four so it is a shame we did not win the game."

The Hammers now face Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool, but McCartney insists they will go into all of those fixtures aiming to pick up at least a point.

With West Ham sitting seventh in the Barclays Premier League table ahead of their short trip to north London, the full-back insisted that Sam Allardyce's side have nothing to fear against a Spurs side beaten 5-2 at Arsenal last weekend.

"It is going to be a difficult run of games but we will take it one game at a time starting, with Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane on Sunday. We can take a lot of confidence from our second half display against Stoke and Spurs are a little shaky at the minute so I think they will find it difficult to beat us.

"We have got 19 points so far this season and, despite us having tough matches after Tottenham, we hope to add to them in the next few weeks. We were promoted last season through the Play-Offs and I think everybody was expecting Reading and Southampton to do better than we have.

"The manager has made some excellent signings and they will need to perform as will we all if we wish to be in the top half come the end of an extremely long and tough season."


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