Guy Demel believes West Ham United can take plenty of heart from their resilient performance in Wednesday's 1-0 Barclays Premier League defeat at Manchester United.
The Hammers fell behind to a deflected Robin van Persie goal after just 32 seconds but, rather than wilt at Old Trafford, the visitors got stronger as the game went on. On the back of a solid defensive display, Demel and his team-mates set up a nervous second half for the Red Devils, coming close to snatching a deserved draw on a number of occasions.
The right-back, who returned to the starting XI with a typically solid all-round display, said Sam Allardyce's side would take the positives from their performance into Saturday's home fixture with Chelsea.
"It was not a great start conceding the goal so early in the game because that gave us problems then," admitted the No20. "After that, I think the reaction was good and we were good defensively and we had some chances to put the ball in the net, so are a little bit disappointed.
"I think we can be proud of the way we played and if we play like this at home against Chelsea and try to be more clever with the ball in front of their goal, I think we may have a chance to win the game.
"We had some chances. The game was not that easy for Man United as well. They are a great team and they were playing at home and it was only because they scored their goal so early that they had the opportunity to win the game."
Demel was also proud of the way the players responded to their early setback just three days after producing arguably their worst performance of the season in losing 3-1 at Tottenham Hotspur.
Now, the Ivory Coast international says the next step is to build on their defensive solidity by taking more chances to score goals at the other end of the pitch.
"Every game is different. Against Tottenham it was a derby game and we had a bad day, but when you look back at the whole season we are doing well. It could be better, as I said, but after the performance on Sunday to play like this at Manchester United means we can look forward to the next game.
"They were worried and you couldn't hear their fans. I think that's good but we still lost the game and we go back to London without any points which is disappointing because when we had a possibility to maybe get a result.
"We have to take the positives and keep doing the things we are doing and working as a team defensively and serve our forward players as well as we can to score more goals."
After two difficult and physically-testing away fixtures, the Hammers return to the Boleyn Ground on Saturday, when Chelsea will be the lunch-time visitors.
With Rafael Benitez having taken charge of the Blues less than a fortnight ago and the visitors having failed to score in their previous two league games, Demel believes West Ham have a perfectly good chance of extending their fine home record and returning to winning ways.
"Of course, we will play at home after two away games. Chelsea is a similar team to Man United, but we are going to play at home in front of our fans, so I think we'll push forward more. We don't have to hide because we have the opportunity to win the game. We're looking for that because we need the three points.
"I will wait to see until after the game before I say it is a good time to play against Chelsea!"