'We want to kick on again'

Joey O'Brien says the players want to bounce back straight away from Saturday's defeat at Liverpool

Joey O'Brien says West Ham United's players want to bounce back straight away from Saturday's 2-0 Barclays Premier League defeat at Liverpool

The Hammers started well at Anfield, only for second-half goals from England duo Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge to condemn them to a first defeat of 2015.

While the reverse - and injuries to Winston Reid, James Collins and Andy Carroll - were disappointing, O'Brien says it is important to remember that West Ham sit eighth in the table and have an FA Cup fifth-round tie to look forward to.

"We shouldn't get too down," said the full-back. "We have got a massive game next week against Manchester United at home. The place will be rocking and it's a great game for us to bounce back. We want to kick on again."

Concentrating on Saturday's defeat, the No17 said West Ham had played well in the opening 45 minutes, only for Sterling's 51st-minute goal and a series of injuries to take the wind out of their sails.

"They only really had one good chance in the first half that I can remember, but apart from that we played well in the opening 45 minutes," he said. "It's hard going to Liverpool as they are on an upward curve and have got some quality players.

"We got in half-time at nil-nil, which is what we wanted, but to concede so early in the second half made them a hard team to play against. You have to chase the game, but they have quality, movement and pace in their team.

"Even at one-nil you are in with a chance and hoping to get a draw out of the game, but when it went to two-nil and we went down to ten men, it made for a hard day at the office."

Manager Sam Allardyce said circumstances meant his team stopped playing to their tactical strengths after Sterling's goal - namely to press Liverpool and knock balls into the channels to pull the Reds' three central defenders out of position.

"Maybe so, yes, but with the goal they had their tails up and the crowd were buzzing and that makes it difficult," said the Irishman. "If we had kept it at nil-nil until 70 minutes then they might have got a bit nervous and we probably go on the front foot.

"When they scored the opening goal, it probably changed the game a little bit and they started taking the game to us, which made it difficult. We could still have got a draw, through, with a bit of magic from someone or a set play, but when it went two-nil it's a hard place to get something from.

"When you go down to ten men, it's hard to try to chase the game. They were pressing so high up the pitch because we only had ten men, so it was even harder to get a result."

For O'Brien himself, injuries to Collins, Reid and Carl Jenkinson could give the Dubliner a chance to stake his claim for more match-time after making just eight appearances so far this term.

"Yes, we will see what happens. I haven't played much, if at all, this season. The last game I played was against Arsenal which was a while ago now, but I came in on Saturday and the manager knows he can trust me if the lads are injured.

"Hopefully they are not injured, though, because we have some massive games coming up and we want to go as high as we can in the league. Hopefully it's not as bad as it seems."