James Collins felt West Ham United did more than enough to earn a point against Barclays Premier League leaders Chelsea, if not all three.
As it panned out, the Hammers lost out to Eden Hazard’s 22nd-minute header, but passed up a whole host of presentable opportunities to make it honours even.
Centre-half Collins, who was drafted into action after just eight minutes following an injury to Winston Reid, admitted it was a case of what might have been for West Ham on the night.
He told West Ham TV: “We're disappointed in the changing room, to be honest. We thought we had the chances to get a point or even win the game. Earlier on in the season we were sticking them away, unfortunately at the minute we're not.
“I was speaking to Kev [Kevin Nolan] after the game. One went behind, one went in front of him, at the minute it seems to be the way. We're in a good spot, we're tenth in the league, 39 points on the board and we’ve got some winnable games when we get going again. So we've got to kick on.”
As for the winner, Collins confessed to being in a catch 22 situation, unsure whether to hold the line, or go with the runner. In the end, match-winner Hazard was marginally offside, further evidence of lady luck deserting Collins and his colleagues.
“I think their goal was offside as well,” he continued. “Kev had one disallowed at Manchester United earlier in the season which was more onside than theirs on Wednesday.
“I think if I'd stayed, I'm keeping Hazard onside and I don't think I'd have got the ball anyway. So I'm thinking stay up, or go for the cut-back with Costa. It's one of them.”
Result aside, the Wales international was at least delighted to get back out there, even if he admits to needing further minutes under his belt to really get back in the groove. Not that he had a great deal of time to prepare for his evening’s work, with only single digits on the clock when Reid pulled up.
“I think it was four or five minutes that I got the shout to warm up,” he confirmed. “Hopefully Reidy’s not too bad. I think he's felt his hamstring again slightly, which he had a couple of weeks back.
“But it’s nice to get back on the pitch, I obviously need a couple of games to get back into the full swing of it, after being out for a while. But every time I come on and play for West Ham is great.”
While many a man in claret and blue excelled against the Blues, Collins reserved special praise for his skipper, Nolan, who led by example from first whistle to last.
“I thought he was superb. He started off well. First minute he's chasing balls down, he didn't stop all night, the energy he showed and fitness was frightening and obviously to see that from your captain breeds confidence in everyone. I thought he was spot on, very good.”