Hammers skipper demands instant response


West Ham United captain Kevin Nolan has demanded a response from his teammates after last weekend's 3-0 defeat to Reading.

The Hammers' temperament has been called into question after Joey O'Brien and Jack Collison saw red at the Madejski Stadium, with Simon Church (2) and Alex Pearce inflicting a second away defeat of the season on Sam Allardyce's side.

Nolan believes the performance simply wasn't good enough from the east London outfit, and has told the fans to expect a completely different performance at Upton Park this weekend when Barnsley are the visitors.

"To be honest, I didn't think we were up to scratch. We've been playing really well of late and were very unlucky last week against Burnley," Nolan told West Ham TV online.

"There was nothing in the game really and the referee has given a decision which was a bit harsh, I think. The two yellow cards were a bit harsh, but that was the turning point really.

"We were sloppy and the bottom line is that we were not good enough. After going down to ten men we needed to get a seige mentality and make sure we didn't concede a goal and try to go from there and try to make a few chances, but we didn't.

"It's a learning curve for us as a team and as a squad and we have to make sure we learn from it."

With injuries and suspensions beginning to take their toll, Nolan is well aware that the squad will need to start showing its strength-in-depth if the side are to maintain their push for automatic promotion from the Npower Championship.

That will start against the Tykes at the Boelyn Ground this weekend, with a busy festive period set to push the squad to its limits.

"We're going to have to learn from it (Reading) and bounce back quickly. At the end of the day, it's always going to be like that because we've got a few games coming up over Christmas but we've got enough quality in the squad," added the skipper.

"We're not going to make excuses. We are light in places but we're where we are because of what we've done up to now. There are going to be a few hiccups here and there and this was a massive hiccup.

"We've got to make sure that next week we give the supporters what they deserve and that's a win. Southampton have made a point on us and a few other teams have made up points on us but we've got to make sure that we get back to winning ways.

"We're looking for a reaction and I'm sure there will be one."

News Now - Sport News