Kevin Nolan says West Ham United will show grit and determination to start picking up Barclays Premier League points again during the second half of the season.

The Hammers captain admitted that, while everyone was disappointed not to come away with anything from Reading on Saturday, the aim is to move on and put things right.

While Nolan himself will serve a one-match ban in the New Year's Day visit of Norwich City, the skipper has backed his team-mates to get the job done in his absence.

"We know it was not good enough from us on Saturday, but we are good enough to get back on it," said the No4. "You look at the game and for Vaz [Ricardo Vaz Te], a player of his quality you think [his late header] is in, but it just didn't happen for us. It went the wrong side of the post, but it happens.

"We are a newly-promoted team. We have been great and made a really good start. We have faltered a bit in recent weeks with losing a few, but some of those were against top sides. I have to say this was one of the most disappointing losses because, with no disrespect to Reading, we wanted to go there and come away with at least a point. I think we did deserve that but, fair play to them, they defended and saw it out until the end, so hats off to them.

"They didn't really have a lot of other chances that they created.Ginge's [James Collins] unfortunate back pass led to their goal and it happens. We are upset that we lost the game and the manner in which we lost it, but we have to keep our heads up and have Norwich at home on New Year's Day and have got to be looking to put the record straight there."

Nolan said the return of Vaz Te and more match action at the Madejski Stadium for Jack Collison were huge positives for the side. With Andy Carroll, Mohamed Diame and George McCartney also hoping to return early in the New Year, the captain said West Ham would look to start 2013 as they mean to go on.

"It was good to see Vaz back - he is really important for us and that was a huge positive and hopefully in the next few weeks we will see more lads back. That will certainly help us as we look to pick up points again, which we are fully capable of doing."

A busy January schedule will see Sam Allardyce's men host Manchester United in the FA Cup third round in between league matches with Norwich and at Sunderland and Nolan said there is no time to rest.

Although the Hammers skipper will have to sit out Tuesday's match, he will be illustrating the spirit in the squad by supporting his team-mates and says there is a strong sense of belief.

"You hear people say that this is a critical part of the season. Look, every part of the season is critical and at the end of the day, you can't for a minute take your foot off the gas in the Premier League.

"We are going through a little sticky patch but we are confident we can carry on looking up and not down. You look over your shoulder of course, but we have belief that we won't be dragged into that and, as I said, we are confident we can start picking up points again.

"This is what we are here for, got promoted for - to be in the Premier League. All the hard work, grit and determination, that is what we have to show in the next month now, to show why we are here, and I am sure we will.

"We have had a decent start and I think if you had given us that at the start of the season, those points at this stage, we would have taken it. That is how we have to look at it, we have to go for another 23 points and more in the next half of the season. It will be tough, but we are more than capable of doing it."

As January begins, the speculation starts as to which players may come and go from different clubs. Nolan said that, if there were to be any arrivals, they would be a welcome boost, but it was also the case of the players already here continuing to their jobs to keep the club in a good position.

"The Joint-Chairmen did some fantastic business in the last transfer window. They supported Sam massively and there is nothing better than seeing a few new faces coming into the training ground, so hopefully that might be the case again.

"But if not, we have the resources to work with, with the squad we have. If we can keep everyone fit, then we can carry on what we have done well already and to get into that top ten and finish in there."

QPR