Tomkins frustrated by Palace reverse

James Tomkins was bitterly disappointed to concede three goals from set plays on Saturday

James Tomkins spoke of the Hammers’ frustration after they slipped to a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Prior to this meeting with the Eagles, West Ham had only been defeated by a team lower than them in the table once this campaign – at Everton in November – so the Boleyn Ground reverse came as something of a shock to the system.

The defender was disappointed to concede from three set-plays and said it was a performance out of keeping with the team’s season.

“It was a frustrating afternoon for sure,” he said. “We were not expected to lose, especially in the fashion we did.

“It was out of character for us. This season we’ve beaten all the teams below us in the league, but it wasn’t to be on Saturday.

“Crystal Palace frustrated us, sat deep and scored three set plays, which is bad from our point of view.”

Palace’s three goals – two for Glenn Murray and the other for Scott Dann – all came from Jason Puncheon dead ball deliveries and Tomkins believes the Hammers should not have been caught cold by Palace’s prowess from set pieces as they knew all about it.

“The Gaffer said before the game that they are good from set plays,” he explained. “They attack them well and have good delivery and they got it right on the day.

“From our point of view the first one is unlucky, the second one is a good header and the other one is a good delivery. You could say it’s good from them, but it is sloppy on our part.”

West Ham enjoyed 66 per cent of the ball and had 22 shots to Palace’s 12, but were thwarted in their efforts to impose themselves on the game until the final 20 minutes, leaving Tomkins disappointed.

“They sat back and frustrated us, but once they had the player sent off we were always going to have more possession and push them deeper,” he added.

“It was a matter of trying to break them down. We did that, but it was a bit late really. The third goal killed us and 3-1 is majorly disappointing.

“If Nobes’ free-kick had gone in rather than hit the bar it would have been a different game, and Nene hit the post as well.

“You could say we’re a little bit unlucky and things aren’t really going our way luck wise, but hopefully we can change that around quickly because we have a big game on Wednesday night.”