Michael: A Tough Task

Michael Carrick admits the club faces a huge task to get into the play-offs at the end of the season - and says that two wins over Easter are a must.

"It is three defeats on the spin away from home so we have to do something about it," he says of Saturday's 2-0 defeat at Reading.

"They played well on the day, to be fair to them, and stopped us from creating too much.

"There are no excuses; it was a bad performance.

"I think we have let ourselves down more than anyone else and it is another defeat which we are not too happy about - but we have to get on with it."

Looking at the two Dave Kitson goals either side of half time which sealed West Ham's fate, he reflects:

"The first goal was miscommunication and the second was a set piece, which you have to deal with, and it was disappointing."

The Hammers face Derby and Crystal Palace over Easter, and Michael adds:

"We have to focus on Derby now, the first of two games in quick succession and we need six points from those two.

"Any game we go into we have to win, whether at home or away, and it is going to be difficult now because we have a hard task - but we are going to have to come through."

Are nerves, perhaps, creeping in?

"I can only speak for myself and for me I am only playing my normal game - but in the last few weeks it hasn't been happening for the lads.

"It is that tough time of the season, the last few games when things are won and lost.

"We are going to have to make sure that we win our fair share of games to make sure that we get up there.

"The two games will leave us with only four after that so they are massive games.

"Every week in the last three or four has been a big one so we are getting used to it now."

As for the aftermath of the defeat, he says:

"It was just like any other game; we saw where things went wrong and talked about how to put them right.

"It is frustrating but you have to deal with it and do something about it - but we haven't been doing that in the last few away games.

"I couldn't give a reason; there are no excuses and it just didn't happen on Saturday."v He insists, though, that it was not for want of trying on Saturday and he adds:

"I don't think you can ever accuse the lads of a lack of effort; it is just not doing things at the right time, which is what is happening at the moment."

he admits that not getting promoted this term would be a huge blow and adds:

"It would be devastating for everyone concerned - but it is going to be hard now.

"We have given ourselves a big task to even get in the play-offs, so we will see how it goes."