Parker praises fans

Scott Parker has thanked West Ham United's supporters for their unwavering vocal support during Saturday's 4-1 Barclays Premier League defeat at Chelsea.

The Hammer of the Year, who netted the Hammers' consolation goal with a 30-yard screamer to level the score at 1-1 on the half-hour mark, admitted to being disappointed to concede three second-half goals at Stamford Bridge.


However, the England midfielder was effusive in his praise for the 3,000 fans who made their way to west London to cheer their team on from before kick-off until well after the final whistle.

"The fans were absolutely brilliant. That was the one thing we said when we went into the changing rooms afterwards. There were a couple of positives, but if there was one massive thing, I think it was the crowd. We heard them singing even when their fourth goal went in.


"For a player, you can't explain how much that helps you. At times, it is hard out there and when you know your supporters are with you, you find that extra little bit. When the going gets tough and your fans get restless, it becomes ten times harder than it would be otherwise, so it was brilliant that they stayed with us and long may that continue."

For Parker, the joy of scoring a spectacular first goal of the season against one of his former clubs was tempered by the disappointment of watching goals from Didier Drogba and Florent Malouda deny West Ham a point they looked capable of securing at half-time.

The visitors made a fast start - no doubt conscious of the poor opening they made against Bolton Wanderers a week previously - only to fall behind to Alex's 13th-minute header. Even then, Gianfranco Zola's side refused to buckle, and went in level at the interval courtesy of Parker's unstoppable half-volley.

After the break, however, Chelsea took control, and never looked like throwing their lead away again once Drogba had headed home ten minutes into the second period.

"It was disappointing. We started the game pretty well. We had a gameplan which was working. They got a goal and we got back into it and maybe if we'd held on for a little bit longer then we may have got something out of the game, maybe a draw, but they showed their quality in the end. They were clinical in their finishing and won the game quite comfortably in the end.

"It's clearly obvious. You only have to see the players they have in their team to know they are strong. It was always going to be a tough game for us. Saying that, I thought the first half and even the start of the second half were encouraging. Once they got their second goal they killed the game a little bit, kept the ball and made it difficult for us.

"It was nice to score. Obviously I was due a goal as I hadn't scored in a while. It was pleasing. I have been practising my shooting in training and I was glad it went in. It was just a shame we couldn't hold on to it and get something out of the game."

With a trip to Arsenal to come on Saturday, Parker called on his team-mates to produce the same tenacious display they put on during the opening 45 minutes at Stamford Bridge for the full 90 at the Emirates Stadium.

"We are in a difficult position at the moment, but we've got some important home games and we've got to just keep fighting and keep showing the spirit and picking some points up along the way.

"I think we've got to maintain what we did in the first half at Chelsea. In the second half, there were times when we got a little bit sloppy and made a couple of little mistakes which cost us. That happens when you go to teams like that. They've got the quality and it's case of your luck being in and them missing them and you can go up the other end and get something and hang on. That's the reality of it."