Christian On Controversy

Christian Dailly says that Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink's free kick goal on Wednesday night was partially 'aided' by the referee.

While in no way absolving responsibility for the other two goals conceded, it is clear that he sees Hasselbaink's equaliser just before half time as having a profound effect on the game.

The controversy centres around the positioning of match official Graham Poll just before the Dutchman's strike, and Christian explains:

"It is a bit of a grey area; our player stood in front of the ball to stop him taking a quick one then the ref stood in front of the ball and is telling the players to get back or be booked.

"Then the ref stands out of the way and he hits it; it looks almost like a set move.

"I suppose you give Hasselbaink for hitting it but you wonder if the referee should stand out of the way of the ball so everybody can see that he is going to hit it, because you can't even see Hasselbaink.

"You don't know what is going on and the boys just can't see him; we are looking at ourselves first of all at the way we were set up but it is definitely a grey area where there is a quick move to the side from the ref after Hasselbaink says 'can I take it?'

"Sometimes you see people taking free kicks where you have your own player standing in front of the ball so the keeper can't see it, but this was the referee that is doing it.

"But it has happened and we have just got to get on with it and live with it."

It just wasn't Christian's night: West Ham's luck was typified by his headed effort being scrambled away by the post while John Terry's header went in off it at the other end.

"I thought mine had maybe crossed the line; it was one of those where you have a quick look at the linesman because I thought it might have just sneaked over," he says.

"I thought it might have gone in, but one can you do - maybe it wasn't our night.

"I felt at that time we were getting chances and efforts on goal, and I thought we were going to win the game, so to lose it in the way we did was a blow.

"Terry's was an excellent header; he has got up well and got it on target, but maybe the luck wasn't there for that one.

"We want to concede none from corners; we have done really well because we are not the biggest side in the world and we do stick to men really tightly, but there have been a couple of occasions when men have got free and got headers.

"Obviously the delivery has been excellent but we are disappointed in the manner in which the goals came.

"We all have designated men before the game and we know what has happened, but it is something we will sort out.

"It is not so much the corner, although obviously it is the winner, but it is the other two goals."

Christian insists it is collective responsibility that is the key, and says no personal blame should be attached to Don Hutchison for the second goal when his header to David James was intercepted by Michael Forssell.

"Don was disappointed but we are a team and we win as a team and we lose as a team; it is very rare for that to happen with Don and no one holds anything against him at all.

"Glenn has picked out loads of positives from the game but he is angry about the goals. "We has a word about them on the night and we will take a look at them on Friday; but he has made sure no one went out of the ground with their heads down."

And that is exactly what the players - who insist the season is far from over - intend to do, and he adds:

"We have to be as bubbly as we can; as professional players we have got to do that.

"A lot of us are angry at losing and we have to take that aggression out in a positive way at Bolton; we have got ourselves in a decent position and there is loads to play for because we definitely want to finish up the table as high as we can.

"We feel we are improving with good fitness but we have to steer clear of injuries and suspensions as the squad is reasonably small; if we do that we feel we can match anybody.

"We are confident if we keep trying to build and keep the spirit the way it is then we will be getting last minute goals and 3-2 scores, and doing what Chelsea did to us.

"We have got to pick ourselves up now because we have got a big game Saturday and we want to finish as high up the table as we can.

"We have got to do it against Bolton now and show people we can do it away from home - we have to show that we are building, and that we can do it away from home as well."

Nonetheless, he can't disguise his disappointment at losing after twice being ahead, and he adds: "It is sickening not to be in the FA Cup any more because I had a good feeling about this year and to be twice ahead and lose at home is unbelievable.

"Football is like that, it is cruel, especially when you put that amount of effort that we put in there.

"We looked the better side for large parts of the game and to come away losing in the last minute is absolutely sickening - it is as sick as I have felt after a game.

"I don't know what else to say - I'm so gutted, but we have got to get over it because we have another game on Saturday."