James Tomkins sat down for this week's Big Interview to reflect on Sunday's trip to Tottenham Hotspur and look ahead to tough Barclays Premier League fixtures against Manchester United and Chelsea.
After struggling to deal with a speedy Spurs side on Sunday, the No5 said West Ham United would have a more effective game-plan in place when they run out at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening.
The popular central defender also evaluated his individual performance after returning to the starting line-up in recent weeks after he began the season on the substitutes' bench.
How would you analyse the team's performance on Sunday and was Tottenham's pure pace and speed ultimately your undoing?
JT: "We didn't start the greatest and we should have kept the ball better than we did, especially in the first half. Going into the break 1-0 down was a bit of a blow, really, because we defended quite resolutely, so that killed us a bit. In the second half we didn't improve too much either, so we were beaten by the better team - it's sad to say, but we were."
Sam Allardyce has said that even if the team play to the maximum of their ability in the next four of five fixtures you could still come away with no points. Do you agree?
JT: "Yes, but we didn't play to our best against Tottenham and we need to put it behind us quickly. We have another hard game on Wednesday and they come thick and fast and tougher as well. We have to put it behind us and go to Old Trafford full of confidence because we have got the points on the board and we can only improve on Sunday's display."
Were you surprised by the way in which Spurs approached and played the game considering they played away in Europe just three days before?
JT: "Not with the players they have got. They are full of pace and at times we were dropping off them and playing a bit too deep to try and deal with their pace. They made it hard for us and put us on the back foot a lot of the time. We went to White Hart Lane full of confidence and they did play in midweek. It should have been a good time to play them because they had lost three out of four games as well, so it was a bit disappointing."
Do you agree that it was vitally important for Andy Carroll to get his first West Ham United goal and will it give him and the team a boost going forward?
JT: "Yes, that was definitely a positive and hopefully they will keep on coming now. It is good for him to get off the mark. He's had a few chances and he has been working hard as we saw at Spurs and throughout the season. He kept going right to the end and hopefully there is plenty more to come from him."
Despite that goal, it was another striker who has played in claret and blue that stole the headlines in Jermain Defoe. What did you make of his performance?
JT: "He took his first goal really well and it really killed the game by putting us 1-0 down. But even at 1-0 we were thinking 'If we can get the next goal then anything can happen'. Unfortunately we let them get another goal and the third goal all but ended the game. If it was 2-1 with ten minutes to go they would have been on the back foot, but it wasn't to be."
How have the team reacted to the disappointment of Sunday and will you be ready for another two big games this week against Manchester United and Chelsea?
JT: "We are where we are for a reason because we have played some good stuff this season. It wasn't to be on Sunday in terms of our performance, but we have to put it behind us quickly so we can go to Manchester United 100 per cent ready mentally and physically."
Like Tottenham, Manchester United are a team full of pace, so how will you go about nullifying a similar threat this time around?
JT: "They have got a lot of pace with their wingers but we will go there full of confidence. Before the game we will sit down with the gaffer and see what he says about how to deal with them. Against Manchester City at times we were sitting back and letting them play in front of us and we were hard to break down. It might be a case of that at times in the game, but we will just have to see on Wednesday night."
Finally, how would you rate your individual performances since you have returned to the starting XI?
JT: "I was pleased with my performance against Tottenham and I feel that, now I have played a few games, I am building my confidence up. That doesn't mean anything looking back on Sunday's disappointment in terms of the result but I will keep working hard and keep trying to get into the starting line-up every game."