Andy: We Will Improve

Andy Melville reckons that West Ham will play significantly better on Tuesday against Ipswich than they did on Saturday.

"I think we can raise it 15-20%; there is so much ability, it will be sickening if we don't make it," he says.

"You look around before the game and at half time and there is quality throughout the dressing room.

"Most of the players belong in the Premiership and we have a great chance still.

"Hopefully we can start on the front foot and get the supporters behind us - and deliver."

The Hammers went into the game at Portman Road on a much better run of form, but Andy believes that had little bearing on the outcome.

"It was a big game and everyone is going to be up for a playoff," he says.

"We were on a bit of a run and it has come to an end - but perhaps we gained a little bit of experience on Saturday.

"There were a few lads that have not been involved in those games before so that experience will hold us in good stead for Tuesday.

"It is a defeat even if it is 'half time'; we have to get everyone together because that is the only way to do it, and we have to believe in ourselves."

The temperature, on the field if not in terms of atmosphere, should at least be cooler on Tuesday evening, and Andy adds:

"It was so hot out there and that killed everything; the tempo wasn't as fast as it is normally in playoff games.

"But on Tuesday we will start, hopefully, on the front foot, the tempo will be much higher, and that will suit us."

Tomas Repka returned to the side at Portman Road on Saturday, allowing Hayden Mullins to take over from Anton Ferdinand at left back, and Andy adds:

"Tomas came back in and did a great job for us; I thought the back four looked pretty solid.

"Even when we weren't on top of our game in the first half we still made chances against them.

"But we will see how they play on Tuesday, because they have the one goal lead - and it might make it difficult for us to get in behind them.

"But we will see what happens and hopefully we will have enough in the locker to overturn them."

It is literally half a lifetime for Andy since he last endured a playoff game - for Swansea - and he relished the pressure.

"It was a great atmosphere out there; their fans got right behind them and our fans were brilliant as well," he says.

"In the first half we made a few chances which, perhaps, on another day, we would have taken.

"It was obviously a disappointing result in the end but there is a big game to come on Tuesday and we are still in with a shout."

Ipswich's win could have been by a higher margin had Andy not cleverly cleared off the line from Ian Westlake in the first half and Andy recalls:

"Stephen has come out so it made my mind up to go to the line; it was the pace on the ball that made it more difficult and I think it went on to the post in the end, so it was pleasing to get it clear.

"The second half just fizzled out a little bit; obviously they got the goal and started it a little bit better than us.

"But I think we were more disappointed with the first half because we showed a lot of quality in front of them - but didn't punish them enough."