Modibo Maiga expects West Ham United's Barclays Premier League fortunes to take an upward turn in the next week, with clashes against Fulham and Crystal Palace coming sharply into focus.

The Mali frontman entered the fray shortly before half-time against Chelsea on Saturday, as he and Mohamed Diame were tasked with plotting the Hammers' route back into the contest.     

While there was to be no revival, Maiga at least proved a handful for the Blues, twice going close to reducing the hosts' arrears. Saturday's disappointment aside, Maiga is adamant his team-mates will stay positive in the lead-up to two key fixtures.        

"We'll keep working and keep our heads up. We've got good players and we've got all that you need [to succeed] here. We'll be OK, it's going to come next time," he told West Ham TV

"Chelsea was a very tough game, particularly after the first 20 or so minutes. The penalty came out of nothing, which gave them a confidence boost.

"It wasn't just the penalty, because when you look at the game as a whole, they were able to play, to dominate possession. Anyhow, it's happened like that, which is obviously a great shame for us."

"Even so, we were up against a big club and a great team. We'll get straight back to work and we'll be alright. There are still plenty of games to come." 

Maiga's surprise introduction after just 40 minutes might not, ultimately, have had the desired effect, but it still prompted a much-improved second-half display. The No11, however, struggled to glean any satisfaction from a display that yielded neither points nor goals.   

The 26-year-old is still to score this season and went desperately close to opening his account, as he flashed Guy Demel's 64th-minute centre inches wide of the post.  

He continued: "For sure, it was a really good chance. I don't know why [I've missed]. I thought it was going in, but obviously it's slipped just wide. That's how it goes sometimes and I'm not going to get too down about it. There will be other chances and some will go in and some won't.

"When you come on like that, you immediately want to give everything to try and help the team. I've helped a little bit but that's obviously not proved enough.

"With the two goals before the 40th minute, it was a bit difficult. We gave our all but we've not got the result on Saturday and at the moment it's all about results."  

No more so than this weekend, when the Hammers entertain 18th-placed Fulham. Maiga was not about to downplay its significance and insists Sam Allardyce's men will do all they can to be in tip-top shape for the challenge.

"Absolutely, Fulham's going to be a pivotal match for us," he confirmed. "For the next two games, we have to gather ourselves and we'll be bang up for it to win them both.

"Particularly, first up against Fulham, which is going to be crucial for us. We'll be giving everything to get back to winning ways. We've got a week and we'll prepare right, peacefully and calmly and hopefully it's going to go well."