Pards feels the frustration after Boro defeat

Alan Pardew left the Riverside Stadium on Saturday evening a frustrated man after losing out 1-0 to a Middlesbrough team who netted the winner with their only shot on target of the entire match.

The Hammers boss had watched his side take the game to more defence-minded opponents, only for substitute Massimo Maccarone to come off the bench and score a 74th minute winner for the hosts, leaving Pards and the army of travelling Hammers fans more than a little aggrieved at the outcome.

"I felt the one real break in the game fell for Middlesbrough and, unfortunately for us, they took it," said Pards. "It was a really tight game, they were a bit nervous and their set-up of 4-5-1 to stop us playing meant the match was bitty and there wasn't a lot of fluency to it.

"I felt we were coping well with them and looked more threatening with the two strikers we had on the pitch. But we never got the break or produced that moment of quality that perhaps the game needed, from our point of view anyway.

"In the last 10 minutes or so, we looked a little like we were rushing things and perhaps if we were a bit more patient, then we could have put them under a bit more pressure," added Pards.

"I wasn't displeased with our performance and told the players in the dressing room afterwards that they had put in the maximum effort in a match where a bit of quality was lacking from both sides in terms of the levels we're at.

"But as I said, there was that break and it went for them - Maccarone took it well. We have come off the back of two fantastic wins and it's such a shame that it's ended in defeat for us here."

Hammers have another away day encounter following their trip north, this time a bit closer to home in the shape of a visit to Stamford Bridge to face London rivals Chelsea next weekend.

While the current Premiership champions pose a daunting challenge, it is one that Pards feels the team will go all out to meet as they look to pick up more points on their travels.

Pards said: "I think we knew these would be two tough games and I am a bit aggrieved not to have come away from this one with something. Boro were sound in the job they wanted to do but I didn't think they had done enough to win it.

"It was disappointing to lose here but we can take positives from it. It's going to be tough at Chelsea but we'll go there confident. There are some decent games coming up for us over the next month and we'll be striving to dig in and get the results needed."

He added: "In the Premier League you have to try and pick as many points you can away from home, it's absolutely essential and we're not doing that at the moment.

"It's something we need to address, we go to Chelsea next and that's not a bad place to start. You might only get one or two chances there, but we will be aiming to take them."

by Laura Burkin