Scott shoulders the burden

Scott Parker may have stolen the show again with a superb performance in the 3-1 defeat of Liverpool but the No8 was as modest as ever when asked to reflect.

The Hammers talisman got the ball rolling with a fantastic finish midway through the first half, but it was testament to his will to win that he was even on the pitch in the first place for what he described as "our best performance of the season, definitely".

Parker needed an injection in a shoulder problem to play after a fall in training, although maintained his position was never in doubt. "It's all right. It's not too bad. I got a bit of treatment on it and I got through the game, so it was fine.

"It was a great build-up and has come to me on the outside of my foot," he said of his first-time goal that caught Pepe Reina by surprise and clipped the post before nestling in the net. "I didn't have any other option but to do that. Sometimes they go in, sometimes they don't, but it crept in."

Cue wild celebrations, with Parker letting out a roar before planting a kiss on a Sky pitchside camera. It was an unbridled moment of joy that summed up the relief around the ground, which was furthered when Demba Ba headed a second just before half-time and Carlton Cole wrapped things up off the bench in the dying moments.

It was a great day all round. "We came out and we were solid first half and we put them under pressure. We obviously deserved our 2-0 lead. In the second half, they nicked a goal and full credit to us.

"Every time this season when teams do get a goal back, we stutter a little bit. But obviously we stayed strong and I think it's a massive relief we got three points."

Parker will be raring to go again next Saturday when Stoke City arrive at the Boleyn and he is determined to help the team achieve back to back top-flight wins for the first time this season.

"As crazy as it sounds and the position we're in, as quickly as we're celebrating the three points, we're looking at next week and thinking, 'If only we can win next week'.

"Back-to-back wins would be crucial. If we can put back-to-back wins together, it'll be massive. Obviously we're buzzing regarding winning. But as quickly as we're buzzing, we're looking at Stoke.

"It's looking good. We've got ten games left and they're massive for us. If we can go and win a few of them then hopefully we can give ourselves a chance. We have certainly given ourselves a chance of staying up."

Parker said coping with Liverpool cutting the deficit for the final six minutes and then finding a crucial third showed real progress.

"That was a massive positive for us because our season has been like that - we've let in a goal and it gets a bit tense because of where we are in the league. We held out this time and it's a massive three points. We need to push on now.

"We've been playing some nice stuff and every one of us believes we shouldn't be where we are in the league. But the position doesn't lie. We haven't performed at times. Hopefully we can push on in the final bit of the season and get us out of the mess we have put ourselves in."