Frank's Delight

Frank Lampard grabbed his - and West Ham's - first league goals since the win over Bradford [when he scored a brace] to declare: Let this be the catalyst for a revival.

 "I was happy with the goal in terms of it giving us the point we felt we deserved," he says.

"To be winning and then find ourselves 2-1 down was obviously disappointing.

"At 1-0 we were controlling the game, and I can't remember them having a decent effort before the free kick.

"We had the chances, we were happy to get a point, but disappointed not to have won it - without being fantastic we controlled the game.

"Now we have a big game against Derby and if we win that we feel we can push up the league.

"We showed what we were made of a bit, and it's important we carry that on.

"Derby is a big game for us and if we win we feel we can push up the table.

"We think we're in a false position which means nothing because that's where we are.

"But we know we've got the players to go further than what we have this season.

"We'll do our utmost to finish the season well, but we can't think we're not in a relegation battle - because we are.

"Our next match at home against Derby is going to be a massive game.

"It's a match we need to win, because three points would go a long way towards pulling us clear of the other struggling clubs - and then I think we'd all feel safe.

"We owe it to our fans and to ourselves to try to finish off with three wins at home.

"Of course you want to win your home games and if we do win these games we will prove to people we are not as bad a side as our recent results suggest."

He has asked supporters not to dwell on Paolo di Canio's close range miss which could have given the Hammers an unassailable 2-0 lead, saying:

"Paolo has missed a chance that he normally sticks away with his eyes shut, and I know he is devastated with that.

"He has got us out of jail too many times for anyone to be too disappointed with him.

"He's more disappointed with himself than anyone else is; he's been fantasic, so no-one will point fingers at him.

"He kept going after the miss, as we all did: it was important to show the fans who travelled to Villa to see us.

"They gave us a bit of appreciation at the end so that was nice to see."

He admits the away point, West Ham's 18th away from Upton Park, may deflect the flak, but has no qualms about critics doing what they do best - criticizing.

"That's understandable," he says, "but in the dressing room you have to stick together.

"If everyone goes their own way it is no good.

"A lot of our problems have been down to a lack of confidence and our predicament just seem to have crept up on us.

"It was vitally important we got something out of the game, though, with people having a go at us.

"The goal? I don't get many goals like that from inside the box.

"I just happened to be in the right place at the right time, and it was all the sweeter to score against my England colleague David James!"

And he welcomes the inclusion of veteran John Moncur, even if it was at the expense of Joe Cole.

He says:

"Moncs did really well, showed his usual determination, and got on the ball like he does.

"It's disappointing for Joe, obviously, but he's got so many years and games ahead of him that it's part of the learning curve for him.

"He showed a little glimpse and got brought down for the free kick that led to the goal so everyone plays their part.

"We all think 'it's only me that gets the knocks' but it's not, and we all have to bounce back."

As for a transfer link with Leeds made over the weekend, he says:

"I am surprised about those reports - I don't know anything about it, and you would have to ask other people.

"My main concern is helping West Ham improve our position.

"But I've had speculation about me before, and I've learnt that you've just got to get your head down and concentrate on your football."

Responding to Harry's assertoin that he would not want to sell another of his best players, he says:

"If that's what he says I take that as a complement."

"And also take it as a complement to be linked with a big-money move to a big-name club.

"But I've always said that I'm here to concentrate on playing for West Ham and I just want to focus upon getting us the few more points that we need to stay in the premiership."