From the Terraces - Joe Difford

Our fan blogger looks back at Saturday's defeat
Fan blogger Joe Difford looks back at Saturday's defeat to Southampton...

Our defeat to Southampton on Saturday evening was frustrating and agonisingly tight, but it is only the second defeat in 14 games, so there is no need to panic.


In the reverse fixture just after Christmas, Andy Carroll clinched it just minutes from time, but despite a strong side on offer, the Saints got their early goal and managed to stop us for the remaining 80 minutes.


Maya Yoshida’s opener had a hint of good fortune about it, and the ball bobbled off the legs of defenders before falling to the Japanese defender, who made no mistake from six yards out.


Slaven Bilic and Co. were a threat throughout, having 18 efforts on goal, but only two ended up on target, the others stopped magnificently by the in-form Fraser Forster.


Emmanuel Emenike made his first appearance in claret and blue, but saw his header from Enner Valencia’s cross go wide.


Valencia too should have scored, but sent his own effort wide despite being in a good position to finish.


The Hammers frontmen did struggle, but largely due to the fact that Jose Fonte and Virgil van Dijk were excellent throughout, keeping them isolated and quiet.


Their excellent defensive work now means that their keeper,  Fraser Forster, has not conceded in five games, which is almost seven and a half hours, so the England call up is probably around the corner and Joe Hart should be looking nervously over his shoulder if he continues to perform at such a high standard.


We had a great chance to win the game when Victor Wanyama was sent off for the third time this season in the second half. The Saints’ midfielder had been doing a good job of keeping Dimitri Payet out of the game, which is not an easy feat by any stretch of the imagination.


But he saw red when the magical Frenchman pinched the ball from under his nose, before humiliating Wanyama’s teammate and then being brought down. It could have been a yellow card in some games, but his distance from the ball and the use of two feet meant that it was certainly understandable why Mark Clattenburg sent him to the stands.


A point was inches from being rescued late on, with Southampton defender Cedric sliced the ball trying to clear, seeing it skim his own goalpost.


With Manchester United dropping two points against Chelsea on Sunday, the loss is even harder to take, as we could have moved into 5th on goal difference.


However, the next two games away to Norwich and at home to our old boss Sam Allardyce’s Sunderland present two excellent opportunities to pick up all three points and solidify our European place.


Before that however, comes a crucial visit of Liverpool in the FA Cup replay on Tuesday night, which will hopefully send us on our way to Wembley.


The loss to Southampton certainly wasn’t ideal, but with Manuel Lanzini, Cheikhou Kouyate and Diafra Sakho out injured, things can only get better, and a narrow away loss certainly isn’t cause for panic.


For more West Ham fan views or to join the conversation visit

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of West Ham United