West Ham United's players are determined to give the press some positive headlines when they take on Manchester City in Wednesday's Capital One Cup semi-final first leg at the Etihad Stadium.

The Hammers have attracted plenty of attention in recent weeks, having dropped into the Barclays Premier League relegation zone and been knocked out of the FA Cup by Championship side Nottingham Forest on Sunday.

However, with a place at Wembley to play for against one of Europe's top sides, midfielder Matt Taylor said nobody within the Club is feeling sorry for themselves.

"We had Sky Sports News on at the training ground on Monday and it seemed it was the 'West Ham Hour'," said Taylor. "It seems at the moment that the press want to talk a lot about what is happening internally and externally with the football club but, as players, we can only concentrate on going out and giving our best when we're given the opportunity to by the manager.

"In-house, everything is pretty buoyant at the moment. We've got a massive game coming up on Wednesday night. We're all aware it was a disappointing result on Sunday in the FA Cup, but we need to pick ourselves up and try to get a good result at Manchester City.

"As players, when you go over the white line, you take responsibility instantly because the manager can't influence that from the side of the pitch. We have got to accept responsibility for our own actions and we have done.

"I don't believe we have played as badly as people have portrayed and made out. We haven't picked up the results we maybe should have, but we can't make excuses here. All we can do is build up some momentum on Wednesday with a good performance and take that into Saturday and start picking up points and results.

"Hopefully, then these gatherings (press conferences) will be more pleasant!"

Taylor was part of the West Ham side that won the 2012 Championship Play-Off final at Wembley and the No14 would love nothing more than to return to the Home of Football for the Capital One Cup final.

West Ham's league form has been in contrast to their performances in the Capital One Cup, where Taylor has been ever-present in the Club's run to the semi-finals. The midfielder scored in the fourth-round win at Burnley and assisted Matt Jarvis' equaliser in the quarter-final win at Tottenham Hotspur.

"We all know the importance of the game," he went on. "It's a chance to get to Wembley and it's a two-legged affair, so we need to go and play as well as we can on Wednesday and hopefully come away with a positive result.

"We could sit and debate why our league and cup form have been different for hours, to be honest with you. The biggest thing we haven't done in the league is won the games. We haven't come back from a losing position in the league for a while, and it was the first time I'd done it at the Club in the cup when we did it at Tottenham.

"For me, the big thing everybody at the Club needs to do now is to look forward, because there is no point in dwelling on the past. We have an opportunity to get to Wembley, albeit against one of the best teams in the country, and a run of games now when we can pick up points.

"I wouldn't say the Club is in as bad a shape as people are pointing out."

Taylor also added his voice to those backing manager Sam Allardyce as the perfect person to lead the Hammers out of their current predicament in the Barclays Premier League's bottom three.

"I don't believe there is a better manager out there who you could want in charge of your football club at this moment in time," he said. "Sam is an extremely experienced manager both in the Premier League and domestically lower down.

"I don't think the situation would be any better had somebody else been brought in, so us as players are obviously giving him 100 per cent backing in this situation. The manager is very professional in his work. He will set the team up to combat Manchester City the best way, the same way he has done that throughout the season.

"There is a lot of furore surrounding the manager, but he can't influence us as players in the passes we make, the tackles we make and the decisions we make. All he can do is pick the team he thinks is correct for that game and hopefully we go out and implement the tactics he has given us. As players, we have to take responsibility for it."

While his own focus is on Wednesday's trip to Manchester City and the Barclays Premier League trip to Cardiff City on Saturday, Taylor also had words of encouragement for the young professionals - five of whom made their debuts - who featured at Nottingham Forest.

As a player who broke into the Luton Town first team at the age of 17 and worked his way up to the Barclays Premier League, the 32-year-old knows exactly what it takes to make it as a professional.

"Obviously it was a huge day for them for so many of them to make their debuts and it was disappointing we didn't get the result that we desired, but I remember being in that situation as a young player and it gives you experience that Under-21 football can't give you," he explained.

"Competitive football gives you a much bigger insight into the game, because there are livelihoods riding on it, and it gives you experiences to take on as you progress.

"The young guys will hopefully take the positives they can from it and I thought our fans were exceptional with them as well. There were a lot of players there that the fans won't have expected to see, but hopefully they will get more chances to see them in the future."

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