Faubert spells it out

Julien Faubert admitted West Ham United simply did not play well enough in Tuesday's top-of-the-table showdown at Southampton.

Although they created enough chances to win at St Mary's, the Hammers were not at their fluent best and allowed the Saints to stretch their lead at the top through Jos Hooiveld's first-half header.

Faubert conceded that, as well as conceding a goal from a set play, the West Ham players were nowhere near their best, either individually or collectively.

"We didn't start well," he told West Ham TV. "We didn't start the first half well and after that, I don't think we were good enough. We had to keep the score at nil-nil, but we conceded a corner kick and after we conceded it was hard to chase them.

"In this game, we went the wrong way all the time. We didn't pass the ball when we had to, we didn't squeeze them when we had to and when we had chances to score, we didn't take them.

"They didn't have too many chances, but they had more of the ball than us and I think that's why we lost."

An in-form Southampton played at a high tempo - as one might expect for a team that had won its previous 16 home matches in all competitions - that West Ham, at times, found it difficult to deal with.

While the Saints were able to maintain possession in attacking areas, Faubert said West Ham's passing and movement had not been up to its normal high standards, meaning the Hammers' own attacks petered out all too often without a meaningful cross or shot on goal.

"I think it was just about us because they didn't push too much - they just kept the ball and we didn't. I think that was the main thing in the game. We didn't keep the ball enough and when we played the ball forward, we didn't support the strikers or win the second balls. When this happens, it's quite hard to play football."

Faubert said the frustration of producing a sub-par performance outweighed that of not gaining the victory that would have taken West Ham top of the table.

"It was more disappointing because we did a non-game - it was more about this than about anything else. We could have gone to first place as well, so we are also disappointed about this.

"We have to keep going and now we are five points behind Southampton. We have to win some games or, if we don't win, not lose. We can play badly, but in this league when you can't win the game, you can't lose the game."

While the No18 was in no mood for self-congratulation following Tuesday's match, it has not gone unnoticed that Faubert himself is enjoying a fine season.

Whether it be at right-back or on the right wing, the Frenchman has been a consistent figure for Sam Allardyce's side this term, defending strongly, getting forward well and producing a string of dangerous crosses for the likes of John Carew to attack.

The 28-year-old put his fine form down to hard work done in the gym with fitness coach Eamon Swift, as well as his belief in the methods employed by the manager.

"I feel very good. I think we have done a great job with Eamon so I feel very good physically and mentally because the manager respects me like a proper manager. Everything is different. I try my best for him and to be the best for my team.

"The team spirit this season is really good so I think we want to push forward in the same way. I think that's why it's very good on the pitch because I'm trying to give my best to the manager and to the team."