West Ham United skipper Kevin Nolan felt his side deserved better than to come away from Aston Villa empty handed on Sunday afternoon.

The Hammers' search for an away win continues after a quickfire double from the home side saw them take control of the game deep in the second half.

Christian Benteke's penalty was followed by a fine free kick from Charles N'Zogbia, but Nolan believes the Hammers should have already struck before Villa were allowed to surge ahead.

He told whufc.com: "I thought we were worthy of the three points to be honest. I thought we dominated the game.

"Whenever you go anywhere the opposition are going to be up for it and you've just got to ride that storm for the first 20 minutes. I thought we did that quite well, we worked our way into the game and we came out for the second half and dominated.

"We were disappointed to give the penalty away and lose the goal because that gave them a lift, but we've got to keep believing and keep putting in performances like that. If we cut out the errors we'll be fine.

"On so many occasions we were just a matter of inches away from getting on the end of crosses and balls in the box. It was the same against Swansea last week when it could have been a comfortable victory if we weren't up against a keeper in fine form.

"Then this week you've got them clearing off the line, they're getting blocks in, the ball's going just past the post. I was watching Newcastle yesterday and Gouffran's hit one which has deflected off the centre half and flown in - that kind of thing's not happening for us at the moment.

"If we keep producing the form we're showing, and what I mean by that is that the performance on Sunday was good, and keep producing the amount of chances we're making, I'm sure it's going to turn for us."

The Hammers did come close to snatching a point after Ashley Westwood's late own goal was followed by a spell of intense pressure on the home goal, and although they could not quite find an equaliser, Nolan believes there were positives to take into the 15-day period before their next fixture, at home to Tottenham Hotspur.

He added: "As soon as we went 2-0 down I said to the lads make sure we don't concede another because if we could get a goal back we would put them under real pressure. They're at the wrong end of the table and battling for every point. I've been in that position before and nerves set in [when trying to close a game out].

"We've got two weeks between matches and when you lose a game you want to get back out there as soon as possible. But it does give us the chance to relax a bit this week and look at what we've done this season and what we've got to do between now and the end of the season.

"By the time the Tottenham game comes around we'll be ready and raring to go for a home local derby. We'll be looking forward to it."

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