Matty's Consolation

MATTY Etherington took some consolation from the 2-2 draw with Brighton, in that the point gained moved West Ham United above Reading and into the Play-off places.

But it's the most tenuous of leads, on goals scored, and Matty confessed that he couldn't help but feel disappointed after seeing three points snatched away by Dean Hammond's last minute equaliser.

"Everyone was gutted in the dressing-room afterwards," he admitted. "Having lead 2-1 it felt like a defeat to let in such a late goal. It wasn't a corner, but the fact is we still didn't defend the corner and it has cost us.

"But we can take consolation from the fact that the point moved us back into the Play-off places. We've been out of those positions for a few weeks now and it will give the lads a psychological boost going into Friday's game knowing that we're back in there."

Hammers saw some excellent chances to finish the Seagulls off go begging in the second-half, but he gace credit to the never-say-die attitude of the home side and insisted West Ham will need to cultivate a similar mentality against Sunderland.

"Brighton are fighting for their lives and kept pushing right to the end," he said. "We should have dealt with that pressure better, but we didn't.

"It's a really tough place to play. It's a small pitch and that contributed to making it a very tight game. There was very little width for us to work with and they fought for everything.

"Having said that, we're playing well at the moment and created some excellent chances that we didn't take. Marlon will probably think he should have done better with his one in the second-half, but he took his goal very well and you can't blame him for the miss.

"Now we've got to focus on the Sunderland game and just make sure we go out on Friday and win the game. The three points is crucuial and we've got to ensure they go our way."