Joey O'Brien was in typically honest mood following Saturday's disappointing 3-2 home Barclays Premier League defeat by Everton.

The West Ham United right-back left the Boleyn Ground with stitches in the back of his head after challenging Toffees striker Romelu Lukaku as the Belgian powerhouse nodded in the match-winning goal five minutes from time.

The defeat was difficult to take for West Ham, who had controlled the first half and went into the final ten minutes leading 2-1. Then Mark Noble was sent-off for a second bookable offence, Leighton Baines curled in his second magnificent free-kick of the game and Lukaku thundered home Everton's winner.

"It was very disappointing," said the No17. "I don't think we created an awful lot of chances, but I thought in the first half we were the better side really.

"In the second half they improved their team with a couple of changes [bringing on Lukaku and James McCarthy], but to get done by two free-kicks and losing a player to a red card in the build up to the second one was always going to make it hard with the players that they have and that led to their third."

While Baines' set pieces were of the highest order, West Ham have now conceded three goals from direct free-kicks in their last two home games following Jermaine Pennant's match-winner for Stoke City.

O'Brien admitted that the Hammers need to stop giving free-kicks away within shooting range to prevent the same scenario from happening again. However, he refused to blame Noble for Saturday's defeat.

"Of course in an ideal world that would be the thing to do, but in the heat of the moment, when players are going through players make decisions and if they think that they are going to get shots away, that is the reason they are trying to make those tackles. But when the ball then flies into the top corner, it is hard to take.

"Of course [Noble's sending-off was pivotal] and they had the momentum with their two free-kicks as well as us going down to ten men. The way they play, with a lot of possession, certainly frustrates you, and with only ten men it makes it even more difficult.

"We have conceded four goals this season and three of those have been from free kicks. It is just one of those things at the moment."

O'Brien himself saw a change in roles on Saturday, moving from left to right-back in place of the injured Guy Demel. As a natural right-footer, the Irishman had no trouble settling back into a position he has filled many times before during his career.

"I have been training there all week as I knew it was coming after the injury to Guy. It was grand. There are perhaps always a couple of moments in games where I was slightly out of position, but I am trying to get back into the swing of things."

Looking ahead, O'Brien may be rested for Tuesday's Capital One Cup third-round visit of Cardiff City, but he is already determined to get back to winning ways in the Barclays Premier League at Hull City on Saturday.

There, he could come up against fellow Dubliner Robbie Brady, with the winger enjoying a fine start to the season.

"It is a massive game at Hull City on Saturday and we will be going up there to get three points and bounce back."

Cardiff