ALAN Pardew admitted that Hammers did not take the game to Liverpool enough after seeing West Ham United go down 2-0 at Anfield.
Hammers were by no means outplayed by the European Champions, but could not apply enough pressure to upset the home team's rhythm, and goals from Xabi Alonso and Bolo Zenden eventually saw Liverpool home.
Pards said: "We didn't get at them enough from the start. It was a bit like two boxers going into the ring. The challenger needed to get their nose bloodied, but we didn't do that against Liverpool.
"We allowed them to get control of the game and once they went ahead it was always going to be tough for us. If you let Liverpool take the lead they are a very difficult side to play against.
"There were some excellent individual performances from us on the day, but in the end, there wasn't the belief amongst the team that we could take something from the game.
"The lads were disappointed with that, because we have more belief in this squad than we showed.
"Overall we didn't hurt them enough and didn't make it uncomfortable enough in front of their own crowd."
Pards did feel that Liverpool were out to respond after a week that saw them lose at Fulham and then crash out of the Carling Cup.
"They were on their game from the start," admitted Alan. "We found ourselves facing a top six side who gave us no space right from the first whistle.
"Also facing a fresh Steven Gerrard made a massive difference for them and we really had to work hard to contain them at times.
"There was a lot of effort out there from us, but we couldn't get close enough to really do any damage."
However, Pards was also quick to stress the incredible strides his side have made over the past few months. Coming to Anfield and taking on the European Champions is quite a leap from where West Ham United were just 12 months ago, and Alan admits that his team are still growing as a Premier League outfit.
"You must not forget what a big step this is for us," he said. "We are playing against the European Champions and one of the top six sides in the League. That is always going to be hard for us and it was.
"We conceded an early goal and from that point we were always chasing the game. When your chasing a side of Liverpool's quality on their own pitch it can become very difficult.
"In the end we lacked the belief to really challenge them. Now we have to move on and look to next Saturday's match against West Brom, where we can hopefully continue what has been a good run of form at home this season."
Pards Still Believes