Parker pleased to be back

Scott Parker has spoken of his delight at returning to action for West Ham United after impressing in a competitive encounter against Chelsea.

The 27-year-old midfielder was making his first start since suffering a knee injury on his club league debut against Arsenal on 29 September but more than held his own against the likes of Frank Lampard and Joe Cole in the 1-0 defeat. "It was good," he said. "Obviously I've been out for a long while. It certainly felt like a long while as well. I'm really pleased to be back, disappointed with the result but that's football.

"We were unlucky. First half for sure we put ourselves about and we got in Chelsea's faces. We deserved to come in 0-0. I thought we did ourselves justice in the second half. They got on top of us at times but a fair result would have been a 0-0. That would have been well deserved but it wasn't to be. So we move on to the next game."

Parker paid tribute to the defensive steel shown by Matthew Upson and Danny Gabbidon who worked tirelessly throughout the contest to deal with Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou. They were only undone by Cole's late winner when some felt the midfielder was offside. Parker said: "The two centre-backs were brilliant. I think the whole team defended well as a unit and it was touch and go for the goal but Joe Cole has put it away. It was disappointing but we move on."

The travelling West Ham United fans were again in full voice at Stamford Bridge on Saturday but there was silence when Parker, who played for Chelsea between January 2004 and June 2005, went over following a strong challenge by Mikel. Having seen his pre-season affected by injury and then suffering that knee knock against Arsenal, it was a worrying few minutes before he picked himself up and carried on.

Although substituted in the 79th minute, Parker felt the physical nature of the game will stand him in good stead, having now featured in two successive Premier League outings. "It was a good test for it," he said. "It was probably the first real big tackle I've had on it, albeit I've been training now for a couple of weeks. You probably don't get the same tempo and ferocity in certain challenges like you do in games. It was pleasing to come through the game."