Captain's Blog - Spirit still strong

Obviously we are all bitterly disappointed at losing to our local rivals Tottenham Hotspur at home on Monday, especially after going into the game in good form with three clean sheets behind us and a couple of good results.

The atmosphere was terrific and although it was not a good game overall it was going to be whoever would score first would win it. We had chances, especially one before they scored their second goal and if that had gone into the back of the net I think a 1-1 draw would have satisfied both sides on the night. For us it was a case of not taking our chances and that is something we want to put right sooner rather than later.

As much as it hurts to lose, especially against Tottenham, it has not caused too much negativity in the camp as we were straight away working hard in training, ready to go again.

The mood here has been bubbly and, in between the training this week, we went out together as a team for the afternoon for Christmas. We went clay-pigeon shooting, had lunch and then enjoyed some competitive fun. That was followed by dinner in the evening and all the boys then got dressed up in fancy dress with the theme being 'Wild, Wild West Ham'. There were some great costumes about, all the lads did well and everyone had a laugh - all in good spirits.

It was a great way to pick everyone up after the game. We are now entering what is a very busy period and the day out intensified how much the team is together and we are looking to take that into the training ground and the playing arena.

The next day we were all back in at the training ground and focusing on the next game ahead of us which is another London derby at Chelsea on Sunday. We are going there as underdogs but looking to take the proverbial scalp. There is no doubt that there is some fierce rivalry between the fans and that in itself will generate a good atmosphere at Stamford Bridge.

For our boss, he is going back with West Ham to a place where it all happened for him as a player in England and I am sure he will receive a great reception, which is well deserved for the service he gave them. It would cap it off for him if he, as manager of West Ham, can come away with some points.

There have been from many from outside the club who have had a pop at us this week following Monday's result so more than ever as a team we stick together and that includes our supporters. The league is very tight and a couple of wins can see you go up several places into the top ten. That is the commitment we have, which is to be in that top half rather than be outside looking in.

Everyone needs to keep the faith, supporters as well as players need to keep together so we can continue with the aim of going in the right direction.

This week coming up following the Chelsea match will see the players playing Father Christmas and visiting children who have to spend their Christmas in hospital. Hopefully we can put a few smiles on the faces of all those youngsters who can't spend the festive time with their families at home as they should be doing.

Back to the game on Sunday, we thank all our fans who will be making the trip across London to support us. Get behind us as you did against Tottenham and we will be doing our best to give you something to cheer about.

Lucas Neill signature

Lucas Neill