Rufus: Vital Times

Rufus Brevett says that the next two games could shape the season - and he hopes that the side can regain the momentum that threatened to stutter at St Mary's on Saturday before Jermain Defoe grabbed an equaliser.

West Ham face Aston Villa - where former Hammers board member Jack Petchey has just increased his stake in shares to around 12% - on Saturday and visit Bolton next week, and Rufus says: "There is nothing we can do about Bolton, all we can do is keep our game in order and try to win games."

"It was a good performance and a good point but we have got Villa and then Bolton, two massive games, and if we can win them we are nearly there.

"We could have done without the break because we were on a bit of a run and without the games it was a bit of a setback. We didn't start the game at Southampton very well but in the second half we played well.

"After losing the goal just before half time it would have been quite easy to then feel sorry for ourselves, but we put a performance in.

"Jermain is a goalscorer. He was very quiet in the first half but you can always rely on him to nick us a goal - and we are grateful to him for getting the equaliser.

"It was a difficult game on a very hot day and it is always a bad time to lose a goal just before half time, but I thought we responded quite well in the second half.

"It was a disappointing goal to concede. We defended quite well when they were knocking a lot of long balls for Beattie, who I thought we dealt with, and the goal has gone the only place it could have gone, but these things happen.

"He has been flying all season and didn't really do much on the day - but he has got his goal.

"At half time the manager just told us to keep going. It was difficult, and it was hot, and we didn't really get the ball down and pass it as we would like."

Rufus feels that the Hammers could have got all three points and adds: "I felt we controlled the second half, and we could have won it.

"On another day our chances would have gone in and we would have got the victory, but it is a difficult place to go and win and they are doing very well this season, so we were quite happy with a point."