Neill expects luck to turn

Lucas Neill has told WHUTV West Ham United will be able to put the weekend setback against Birmingham City behind them and get back to winning ways.

The club captain was involved in the penalty decision that allowed James McFadden to cancel out Freddie Ljungberg's early goal and ensure the 1-1 draw that meant a point apiece. As McFadden spun past Neill, referee Mark Clattenburg believed the skipper had impeded the Scottish forward's progress and pointed to the spot. "It was frustrating for us and frustrating for the fans," said Neill on WHUTV. "Some said it was a penalty, others said it wasn't. I am disappointed to be involved.

"The game was almost too easy for the first 15 minutes. We opened them up a few times and had a few half-chances. We were guilty of what we have been doing a lot lately which is not punishing teams when we have been dominant. Although the penalty was soft at the other end it took the wind out of our sails. It was disappointing that we couldn't get another goal to take the lead again."

While reflecting on the harsh decision, Neill said the luck would no doubt go for the team in future. "We will get a chance, a decision that will go our way in the next couple of weeks that probably people will think we don't deserve and it will probably even itself out. "It could have been prevented but we also should have been 2-0 up by then. As it was it was brought them a bit of belief, a bit of life and gave them the opportunity to hold on to something. We couldn't rise above it."

Neill sees the weekend draw and the previous 1-0 defeat at Wigan Athletic as five lost points and, with no game now until Saturday week, is well aware that things have not gone quite to plan in February. "We have obviously lost ground, we lost points and what should have been a really exciting month is starting to look a little bit anti-climactic now. It is definitely two games that we are going to look back at the end of the season and think we should have possibly got maximum points."

That said, West Ham United can still possibly move up to ninth spot with a victory against Fulham next time out and close on the top six or seven - especially as Neill's former club Blackburn Rovers were defeated 2-0 at Arsenal on Monday night. "We are all very disappointed but also we had a good chat about what we are going to do here on in. As we all know last year we won seven out of nine games so all is not lost yet."

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