Robbie: No Excuses

Robbie Stockdale feels he should have got a penalty on Saturday against Preston - but admits there can be no excuses for the defeat.

"I was very disappointed; at times the game felt quite comfortable, to be honest, but a lack of concentration cost us and we were holding on at the end to only lose 2-1," he says.

"We spoke after the Nottingham Forest game about how crucial the second goal was and it felt a little bit like that on Saturday, maybe.

"But having said that, the goals conceded were set plays and very soft ones - you can't expect to do that and expect to win games.

"I don't know what happened with the goals because, as you will appreciate, it happens very quickly on the pitch.

"But they have managed to get a run on us from free kicks and corners and we haven't marked as well as we could have.

"They were threatening all through the game with set pieces and they often win games - as was proved on Saturday."

As for the penalty incident when Richard Cresswell brought him down in the second half, he adds:

"I don't think I am a diver or anything like that and he definitely caught me and took my standing foot away.

"But we were saying in the changing rooms, a lot of the lads, that we felt a lot of the decisions didn't really go for us.

"Big Deano felt he didn't get any free kicks when they were climbing all over the back of him and we thought Fuller had them all day long from our two centre halves.

"But that is football and there are no excuses; we defended poorly on certain situations and we got punished.

"You get some things and you don't; I am not going to say the referee cost us the game because in my opinion I don't think he did.

"Like I say, you can't concede two goals like we did and expect to win football games."

Robbie is aware of the fans' frustration and adds:

"The fans are disappointed but so are the players; it is becoming a little bit of a problem that we are not winning at home.

"Obviously we are going to work extra hard to turn it around and we have a big game on Saturday against Sheffield United; hopefully we can win that before we come back home.

"But it is bitterly disappointing; we have to try and look forward because there are so many more games to come."

Robbie, on his third loan month from Middlesbrough, is still hoping to secure a permanent move, and he adds:

"There are similarities between the two clubs; it is a similar size stadium and what have you.

"And supporters are the same around the country; if the team is doing well and you are winning they will be all for you.

"If you are not producing the goods on the pitch they have got the right to vent their frustrations and I think that is pretty universal, to be honest.

"We as players don't like losing, especially at Upton Park, so of course it is disappointing and we have got to try and roll our sleeves up.

"Sheffield United will be a tough game at their place so we will have to see what happens."

He insists he feels the pain of defeat, or being taken off as he was on Saturday, no less acutely for the fact that he is on loan from his hometown club, and says:

"No one likes to get substituted but Neil is a forward and I could see that hopefully it was for the good of the team.

"I'd like to think no one could question that and I feel I put 100% into the game."

Tony Gale feels that West Ham do have the personnel to bounce back, and says:

"Maybe Alan does need a couple of leaders and characters in that team as he has said because without doubt when Alan has got his first eleven out, or even when he has only got a couple of injuries or suspensions, we have still got the best side in the division - but you have to prove it.

"Last season we said we were too good to go down and we went down; this season maybe we are saying we are too good not to go up but you have to go and prove that.

"Maybe the losing run of last season comes to haunt you in games and you are thinking when is the next win going to come."