Nolan - 'We deserved a draw'

Kevin Nolan returned from injury with a 15-minute run-out in West Ham United's 2-1 defeat at Manchester United on Saturday and the skipper came so close to earning the Hammers what would have been a richly deserved point.

Nolan converted Carl Jenkinson's low cross in the penultimate minute, only to see the linesman's flag go up for a marginal offside decision.

On another day the goal could well have stood and Nolan was of the firm belief that it should have done so.   

Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie struck early to give the hosts their advantage, but Diafra Sakho hit back before half-time and the No4 could not believe his side came away from Old Trafford empty handed.

"It's a feeling of disappointment," he admitted. "I thought we thoroughly deserved a draw and we're gutted we didn't get it, but there are lots of positives to take away.

"If we carry on playing the way we have done in the last few weeks we'll get the results we deserve.

"It's fantastic to be part of it again. I only trained on Thursday with the boys and actually was due to have a day off on Friday, but with Nobes [Mark Noble] going down injured, I got the call and I was delighted to that the gaffer put me on.

"I was even more delighted when I scored because I knew I wasn't offside. Jenks [Jenkinson] put a great ball in. I knew he was going to whip it, so I just had to try and get something on it. I couldn't believe it when I saw the flag had gone up - I'd even started to celebrate - and I think they've gambled on it really. That's the biggest disappointment, 

"We fully deserved to get a result and we're just disappointed that we gave two sloppy goals away. "That's how the cookie crumbles sometimes and we'll get the luck later in the season."

Nolan, who has been out since the season's opening week after fracturing his shoulder in training, has nonetheless been impressed with the team's performances in his absence and expects them to build on their positive start with several an absentee still to return.   

He continued: "We were missing Andy Carroll, Mark Noble, Matt Jarvis and Joey O'Brien, while Carl Jenkinson has only just come back  We've had a long injury list, but because of the acquisitions we've made this summer, we've shown we can keep the level of performance really high.

"It's exciting times for us and as we get the injured players back there'll be great competition for places. It means you know you've got to perform, because if you don't, you won't be picked.

"I think we have to get in and around that top ten. That;s a realistic aim for this year, but we'll get to Christmas, see where we are and sit down and talk about it again."