Manager on Monday

West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce said his side must not let the 3-1 defeat by Crystal Palace dent their confidence ahead of facing Chelsea on Wednesday 4 March.

In a sluggish display, the Hammers conceded three goals, all from set pieces, before Enner Valencia’s strike gave the Hammers a lifeline.

Speaking ahead of the game with Jose Mourinho’s Blues, Sam Allardyce expressed his disappointment at the performance, but highlighted the fact that it followed a run of impressive displays against Manchester United, Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur.

“We have to take responsibility for Saturday’s performance, and use the big negative as a big push, as motivation for a tough game against Chelsea on Wednesday night.

“I think our level of performances generally has been good and we have to maintain that. We have to make sure Saturday doesn’t dent our confidence, which is the last thing we want.”

The West Ham manager continued by highlighting the positive impact new signing Nene had on the game, when he replaced Alex Song after 61 minutes.

The experienced Brazilian hit the post with a curling effort as well as demonstrating an array of impressive touches and range of passing.

 “I thought Nene did well, he showed some nice touches and it’s encouraging for us for the upcoming games. I think had his shot gone instead of hitting the post it would’ve given us the lift we needed.

“It’ll take a few games to get up to the required speed of this level, but he showed he can find space in a crowded area which is an important quality. The more he plays, the better he’ll get and we’re looking forward to seeing more from him soon.”

While the result on Saturday was a blow to the Hammers’ chances of a European qualification spot, Allardyce can take heart in the fact that his side responded positively to their last defeat, with three excellent performances against higher opposition.

“We’ve had a run of difficult games, Manchester United, Southampton, Tottenham and now Crystal Palace, but we could’ve had seven points from those games.

“I can’t fault the performances, apart from Saturday. Turning performances into victories has been a big issue for us and something we need to address, starting with Chelsea on Wednesday night.”