Gianfranco Zola is confident it will not be long before his West Ham United side get back to winning ways after unluckily losing 2-0 to Arsenal at the Boleyn Ground on Sunday.
The hosts more than contributed to a lively match and will feel aggrieved not to have taken anything from the game. Julien Faubert's own goal gave Arsenal the lead with 15 minutes to go before Emmanuel Adebayor sealed the win with just a minute left. Carlton Cole was dismissed in the dying seconds for a late tackle on Alexandre Song.
Despite the frustration, Zola was rightly pleased with his players, having seen James Collins and Craig Bellamy impress on their long-awaited returns to the Boleyn Ground starting lineup and Robert Green performing heroics in goal. He said: "We've been playing well, the players' commitment is fantastic and their attitude is perfect. On the pitch they are doing everything the way I ask them to do it so there is no complaints.
"We are just not getting a result and it is a frustrating because for me it would be easy to have a go at them if they were playing badly. I told the players they have to believe in what we do and see it working on the pitch and stick together because the results won't be far off. I've never seen teams playing well and losing many games. I am not worried at all."
Bellamy had the home side's best chance but saw his shot saved well by Manuel Almunia. Zola was delighted to see him come through his first home start in a year: "Bellamy has played a very good match," he said. "He has been generous, he's helped the team a lot, running and chasing people back. [For the chance] Almunia was very good and his body went on the other side but his left leg went on the other side and he was very unlucky."
West Ham United next face the tough task of a trip to Old Trafford to face Manchester United on Wednesday. Lucas Neill and Valon Behrami, who missed out with virus and a slight groin problem respectively, could both return to the starting lineup but Diego Tristan is unlikely to figure. Mark Noble will also sit out with his calf muscle injury.
Zola is certain that his side will get the luck that their play deserves sooner rather than later. "I don't think we are playing badly, I think there are some parts where we are playing well. We are going to improve. If we keep on doing that we are going to get better and better. I have faith in that. I told them they have to believe in what I'm doing as I believe in them and I can see what they are doing on the pitch."
The manager felt Cole was harshly treated for the red card that will keep him out in midweek. "I wasn't happy about the tackle but I don't think it was a straight red card; maybe a yellow would have been better," Zola said. "I saw the action after and he didn't touch Song. It wasn't a nice tackle, but maybe he shouldn't have got a red card."
Both teams in Sunday's encounter approached the game in the same manner - relying on short, snappy passing - and Zola believes the Gunners could be a template for his philosophy at the Boleyn Ground. He said: "Arsenal are a model for the way we play and the way Arsene manages the team is a model for me ... the whole team played very well. We defended very well and it's a pity and we certainly didn't deserve to lose two goals."