West Ham United skipper Kevin Nolan praised the battling qualities of his team after they ran FA Cup finalists Manchester City close at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

The Hammers came out on the wrong side of a 2-1 scoreline, but Nolan was impressed with how they brushed off an indifferent first half display to give the Citizens moments of concern after the break.

Ultimately Andy Carroll's injury-time strike was nothing more than a consolation and Nolan was disappointed that the Hammers' five-game unbeaten run had come to an end.

He said: "First half it was backs against the wall and when we got on the ball we just couldn't seem to keep it, which was very frustrating.

"We came in at 1-0 down and we said to try and keep in the game as long as possible, and retain the ball a lot better.

"In the second half we did that, we came out firing on all cylinders, had a few early opportunities, but the ball wasn't falling for us.

"The goal came five minutes too late for us, If we had scored in the 85th minute we could have given it a real go.

"But they're a top team, and goals like Yaya Toure's is what they do. Out of nothing he strikes it with his weaker foot and it's in the top corner - that just took all the pressure off them.

"It's disappointing because we've lost our five-game unbeaten run. It's a shame we couldn't extend it to a sixth, but it's about us now going on a run until the end of the season.

"We've got Newcastle at home next, which is a massive one for us, being at home. It's going to be a good day for me, Andy and Sam with Newcastle coming to us, and we're looking forward to it.

"We want to win our home games, it's as simple as that. We've been a very good home team this year, we love playing at the Boleyn. I will be looking to score again, the big man will be as well, so we're excited about it."

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