Trio Reflect

Glen Johnson admits it was a 'frustrating' day at the Reebok on Saturday - while Les Ferdinand acknowledges that tempers flared at Bolton.

Eduoard Cisse, meanwhile, acknowledges that the Hammers have to win four games to give themselves a chance.

Indeed so shell-shocked was he after the game that he thought there were still five to go; sadly, not, Eduoard.

"Then we need to win four games and maybe we will see," he says.

As for Glen, booked for wrestling Gudni Bergsson to the ground after not getting the free kick that surely was warranted, he admits:

"It was certainly a free kick and I don't know how he didn't see that because it was just obvious - it was stupid.

"The booking was fair except that if I had got the free kick it wouldn't have come to that."

Another seemingly unjust yellow card was that for Jermain Defoe, fouled by Florent Laville who was also booked for the original foul to which Jermain reacted.

The question is, given that Uriah Rennie whistled for the original offence before the retaliatiory - and understandable - frustration shown by Jermain, why were West Ham not awarded a penalty?

With Joe Cole booked for dissent as well - while still, no doubt, enduring the pain of a savage assault by Bernard Mandy early in the second half - and Steve Lomas booked for protesting at the severity of Jay Jay Okacha's nasty challenge on Trevor Sinclair, the Hammers' players were, of course, of the opinion that several injustices had occurred on Saturday.

"Everyone is unhappy with everything, not just Joe, and we were all through the game - it was to be expected in a game like that," says Glen, considered by some to be West Ham's best player on the day.

"It was frustrating, definitely; it is going to be hard, but we will have to wait and see - we have still got a chance although it won't be easy," he adds.

Regarding Ian Pearce's sending off for a foul on Andre, for which he will receive a three match ban starting with Chelsea, Les Ferdinand, who came on for Fredi Kanoute - who is a doubt for Monday - says:

"I think the referee had already made his mind up before the tackle went in and the 'afters' didn't make the referee's mind up - that was always going to be the decision."

There was, nonetheless, a feeling in some quarters, that Florent Laville was guilty of play-acting in the aftermath of the altercations that followed - and notwithstanding Ian's brushing away of Bergsson, who became involved in trying to provoke him.

Les, as amenable off the pitch as he is brave on it, admits that frustrations were expressed both during and after the game.

"It is never nice, but that is just human beings with frustration boiling over; we should be more professional but at this stage of the season, and in the situation we are in right now, you want people to be keeping their heads.

"Sometimes, though, as human beings, we lose our rag a little bit and unfortunately for Ian he got himself sent off."

That some of the Bolton players were, perhaps, not entirely magnanimous in victory may have been a contributory factor, and Les reveals:

"There was a little bit of gloating going on, and I went in the changing room afterwards and said 'yeah, they have every right to gloat' - they feel like they are staying up and we are going down so of course they are going to be happy about that.

"It was a bit silly, but human beings' frustrations sometimes boil over into something that shouldn't happen." Les has no delusions about the task ahead but stresses:

"It is not over until it is over, but of course the more games you go without winning the more difficult it becomes now.

"I am fed up of saying it but we had five games to go with 15 points to play for and now there are 12 points to play for.

"We have got another tough game at home to Middlesbrough but we have to put our best foot forward and hopefully win that game - and then go on to win all three games after that.

"No matter how you look at it, you now start to look at the other sides, what they are doing around you, and whether you can drag anyone into that third spot to go down.

"It is going to be very difficult, but we have got to keep believing; that is the only way we can do it - and we have to use the ability we have got to get us out of this situation."

As for Okacha's spectacular winning strike, he adds:

"It was a fantastic goal but it should never have been; it came off one of our attacks, we managed not to get back, they got a ricochet that fell straight to him, and he did the rest.

"He is a quality player, it was a quality strike, and a quality goal - but it should have been stopped at source."

West Ham go into the Boro game hoping to have Michael Carrick and Lee Bowyer back; Michael was not yet considered fully fit for Bolton and Lee Bowyer was nursing a knock picked up when tackling Eduoard Cisse [who ironically took his place on Saturday] in training.

Of that game, with the visitors hoping to bounce back from defeat by Arsenal on Saturday, he says:

"It is do or die; all along we have been saying if we don't win we have got a chance but if you look at the Middlesbrough game and it is vital.

"This was an important weekend for us, no shadow of a doubt, and so far we haven't done well in the first game, but we have an opportunity to do well in the next.

"There are 12 points to get and I feel we can still do it."