Nolan pleased with team graft

Kevin Nolan says three points was the reward for hard West Ham United graft on Saturday.

The Hammers ended an eight-game wait for victory by striking late against struggling Sunderland to seal victory with Diafra Sakho's tenth Barclays Premier League goal of the season.

It may not have been the most flowing performance of the season, but Nolan was not bothered about that with the result the critical matter for the West Ham skipper.

He said: "It wasn't the prettiest game in the world but that doesn't matter when you get a win. That's the most important thing when you've gone on a run of twelve games with only one victory.

"We've been playing well at home and probably deserved a lot more points than we picked up. This game is very harsh and we've come away with a few dodgy results over the last couple of weeks, but on Saturday, hard work got us a deserved victory."

Victory might have been more comfortable had the Hammers been awarded a second half penalty when Santiago Vergini tugged Nolan back inside the box. However, a controversial offside decision prevented referee Lee Mason from having to make the big call.

Nolan continued: "I'm an emotional guy and I was trying to tell Lee that the ball had come off their player, and I knew that I had a defender behind me when Ginge played the ball into the box.

"So that was disappointing as I'm still searching for that 100th league goal and I wanted to finish that. To be ruled offside and not get the penalty was more frustrating.

"In the end there'll be a lot of debate over whether Nene fouled Seb Larsson in the build up to our goal, and they say it evens out so maybe that's what happened."

With the season now approaching the finishing straight, Nolan is convinced the Hammers can find form again and climb back up the table.

He added: "We've got eight games left which we think we can pick up a lot more points from. Hopefully it's going to be a good run in for us.

"Let's not forget we played all the top teams in the Premier League in that twelve-game run, so it's been difficult. We've got teams in and around us so it's a time where we're looking to gain points."