'We will regroup'

Captain Kevin Nolan has pledged he and his team-mates will put things right when they go to Crystal Palace this Saturday.

The skipper was in candid mood following Tuesday's 1-0 npower Championship defeat by Ipswich Town at the Boleyn Ground. He admitted the performance against the Tractor Boys was simply not good enough for the players, the management or the supporters and has vowed that the squad will work hard to put things right.

Despite the midweek setback, the No4 stated his faith that the Hammers squad posseses the experience, ability and attitude to get their automatic promotion bid back on track at the weekend, with the club still only two points off top spot.

Do you echo the manager's disappointment about the overall performance and the manner of the goal conceded in the 89th minute?

"We can't hide away from the facts. It was a very disappointing goal to give away. We have a lot of experience in our team and we can't give sloppy goals away, no matter what division we are in.

"We haven't performed, to be honest. We haven't performed as players, as lads or as a team. We would have been quite lucky to come off with a point, but we haven't.

"We go back to the drawing board, we go back to the training ground and we regroup. We're still coming together as a team, so we'll do that. We'll dust ourselves off and we've got a game this weekend where we can get it out of our systems."

As a player, can you put your finger on why things didn't click on Tuesday?

"We've had a good win on Saturday [over Peterborough United] where we should have scored more than one goal but we had one of those nights.

"When you have one of those nights, you've just got to grind out the result and we didn't grind out a result - that's the most disappointing part of it. It's not the fact that we didn't play well because we won't play well in every game.

"It's tough because teams are going to come here and enjoy it because it's a fantastic stadium and a fantastic pitch and the pressure is on us to go and attack.

"They get the chance to play their football and do their things, but fair play to Ipswich because they came here and did really well.

"You can't put your finger on it at this moment in time, but as a team we'll all sit down and have our moans and groans and get on.

"We've all got to big, brave and ugly enough to admit that, as a team, we weren't good enough and that's the be all and end all."

Is it important to go to Crystal Palace and get a result to ensure the team goes into the international break on a positive note?

"That's good thing about this league - you play so many games. The turnaround is so quick that you have another game where you can put it right and that's what we've got to do now.

"We can't sit there and pity ourselves and feel sorry for ourselves because if we do we're not going to achieve what we want, which at the end of the day is automatic promotion.

"If we can't get that, then it's the Play-Offs, but we've got to go up this year. We know that. That's our ultimate goal and none of us is shying away from saying that.

"We are putting pressure on ourselves to do that and we're going to make sure that we work hard on the training pitch so that, collectively, we start getting the performances that we want.

"I know for a fact that it's coming and I want to thank the fans for turning out again. They had the right to have their opinions at the end of the game and boo us off because it simply wasn't good enough."

Why does the team keep conceding last-minute goals?

"I wish I could put my finger on it because then we wouldn't do it. It's just one of those things but it's something we've got to address.

"On Tuesday, the worst thing about it was that it came from a set piece. I think there are a lot of experienced players and internationals in our team and we've got it wrong and that's something that can't be accepted and it won't be.

"In that dressing room, we can dig people out and wave fingers and people have got to take it on the chin.

"As a group, we win together, we lose together and we draw together and that's what we're going to do. We're going to stick together in this time and make sure when we go to Crystal Palace on Saturday."

Do you remember something similar happening when you were with Newcastle United in the Championship two seasons ago?

"Yes. When we got relegated at Newcastle, the state of that club at the time was probably a lot worse than it was at West Ham.

"The owners were brilliant and kept us together and we came together as a team. We know we've got to come together as a team and we're still learning.

"I've only known these lads for ten or 12 weeks and it's tough. We've only had eight or nine proper games and we're going to get better as the season goes on.

"It's about how we react to it. If we react in a good positive manner on Saturday and go away and get something, whether it is a point or all three, we can't afford to give sloppy goals away."

Are you happy with your own form?

"Not really, to be honest, I'm not really happy with it.

"I know that I've got to start playing and lift my game up. It's easier to do well when teams are playing well and when we're not winning games and playing the free-flowing football, I'm the worst critic of myself.

"I'm not happy [with my form] but I think I can still add something to the team. I'm happy with my move has gone, but I think if you asked the players in our team if they are happy with their form at the moment, I think every one of them would say 'No'.

"We haven't really found the form we want, but we feel that we will and it's coming."

Do you feel any added pressure as captain to lead the younger players?

"I've had that all my life at Bolton and Newcastle where I've taken it on and I'm quite happy to take that mantle on.

"At the end of the day, we have got a good group in there who stick together and when we're not playing well, we'll make sure we help those young boys out of it.

"We haven't been happy with some of the performances this season, but when we're not happy we have to grind out the result - that's a fact."