West Ham United captain Kevin Nolan has apologised to Hammers fans following Saturday's disappointing 3-1 defeat at Norwich City.

Nolan and his team-mates looked on course for a morale-boosting and important victory when the skipper teed-up Ravel Morrison to put his side in front on 32 minutes. The goal capped a dominant first-half display from Sam Allardyce's side, only for a Gary Hooper penalty, a Robert Snodgrass free-kick and a late finish from Leroy Fer to completely turn the game in Norwich's favour.

Speaking to West Ham TV, Nolan said the players had let their supporters down at Carrow Road and vowed to work hard to put things right.

"We thank all of the supporters for turning out in their thousands again, and they've been fantastic for us this season," said the captain. "We knew it would be a tough one this year after last season, and I don't know if they expected it because we did so well last year.

"We just need them to stick with us because they have been fantastic for us home and away since I've been here. We apologise for this result as a whole squad and I firmly believe we'll still be in the Premier League with them at the end of the season.

"We're under no illusions, that was a very disappointing result and not what we went to Norwich for, especially after going one-nil up. We've got to take it on the chin - whatever anyone wants to throw at us, write or say about us now, we've got to take it as a squad.

"I know we've got a great squad here and I'm very lucky that I'm captain of it. I know that, come the end of the season, we're still going to be where we want to be. That's the thought process in my mind and the belief I have in this squad of players. We're all together, when we win or when we lose.

"At the end of the day, it's a long old season but we know we've got to turn it around pretty soon otherwise we're going to be in a dog-scrap come the end of the season. That's not what we wanted to be and it's not where this team should be, but we've got to prove that and it's up to us now. We've got to go back to the training ground and make sure we're ready for Chelsea in two weeks' time."

Looking more closely at Saturday's defeat, Nolan pointed to the uncharacteristic drop by goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen that led to Norwich's 54th-minute penalty as the turning point.

"We were quite comfortable, even in the [early part of the] second half, then Jussi makes a mistake which you very rarely see from him. I've played with Jussi for almost 15 years and they come along once in a blue moon and he'll keep us in games when we need him, as he's already done this season.

"It's going to be a tough old season now but we're proud to play for this Club and Jussi will be a major part of it. He'll keep us in games when we don't deserve to be in them, but the penalty just gave them an edge and then another fantastic free-kick was scored against us - the fourth this season - which you very rarely see.

"That's just our luck at the moment and I'm just hoping it will turn. Our luck has got to turn at some point and if we keep together and keep working hard, we'll get to where we want to be."

Nolan is also hoping his own luck will change in front of goal, where he was again foiled by a miraculous save by Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy on Saturday.

"It was a great save by Ruddy, so fair play because it hits his back leg. Even when we scored, I followed in and got a great connection but their defender is there are the far post and got it out before I teed Ravel up.

"That's just the way it is. We've just got to keep plugging away because one day it will turn for us and that's what we've got to keep believing. We have got a great squad here and a group of lads well capable of being in this league, so we've got to work towards being where we believe we should be - in the middle of the table.

"We're not there at the moment, so we've got to face facts and get on with it and make sure we're ready for Chelsea and, believe me, we will be."

The visit of Chelsea on Saturday 23 November marks the first of three London derbies in succession, with the visit of Fulham and a trip to Crystal Palace to come during a vital time for the Hammers.

"If we can take points from those games then we'll start looking upwards and that's how it is. We're under no illusions that we're not where we want to be and it's been a tough old season so far, but we've got a long way to go and we're determined to put it right and I'm sure we will."