Pards Expects Better

HAMMERS boss Alan Pardew called for his team to set about their coming home game against Middlesbrough in a far better manner, after watching West Ham United lose 2-1 to Manchester City at the City of Manchester Stadium.

Pards was far from impressed with his team's showing, but was quick to stress that just as his team did not get carried away with their winning form, so they are not going to get too disappointed after only their second defeat of the season.

"I think it's important to keep things level," he explained, "and just as we didn't get too up about our early form so we're not going to get too down over one poor performance.

"This is an honest set of players and they know that they should have done better on Sunday.

"We invited trouble by trying to overplay in the wrong areas. We were a bit cavalier at times and not disciplined enough for an away team.

"In the Premiership you have got to earn the right to play your football and we didn't do that against Manchester City.

"The players know it was a misguided performance. It certainly wasn't down to a lack of effort or commitment. But we got caught out too many times in the game and must take the responsibility for that."

Despite a below-par Hammers performance, Pards' team always stood a chance of grabbing something from the game and after Bobby Zamora pulled a goal back late on there were an anxious final few minutes for City.

"The game never got away from us," agreed Alan. "Roy Carroll made some very good saves to keep City out and we had one or two chances of our own. There were a few positives to come out of the game, but we know that we weren't good enough.

"At times it looked like we just needed to be more direct and play in their half a bit more. But we tried to force the issue and gave them all the encouragement they needed to come onto us.

"It's a learning curve for this team in the Premier League and it has to be. But it's only our first away defeat of the season at a very tough place to come and now we need a positive reaction.

"We've got to set about the Middlesbrough game in a much better manner than we did on Sunday, we've got to get a better feel for the game and respond with a strong display at Upton Park."