Tony Cottee Column: Heavy Ipswich defeat could give West Ham the kick-start they need

“You will never win a game of football at any level if you are not in the right mindset.”

There is no getting away from it, Tuesday night was the worst West Ham performance of the season, and it is a real shame that we could not take the opportunity of being top of the league and push on.

With Southampton being held at home by third-placed Cardiff City, the Hammers could be five points clear at the top which would have given us a nice cushion.

Instead, it is just two points and it is so important that we show the character to bounce back from the defeat.

I did say last week that it would be a difficult game under the lights at Portman Road and so it proved to be.

Ipswich have been such an up and down side this season but they do possess some good players with the ability to hurt sides that are not on the top of their game.

Something just didn’t click for the Hammers on Tuesday and from the off, the home side were on top and dominating the game.

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I’m not sure if the players were switched on from the beginning, but you will never win a game of football at any level if you are not in the right mindset.

I think that some people expected us to roll up there and brush Ipswich aside because we were top of the league.

But that just isn’t how it happens in the Championship and West Ham got what they deserved.

We may be top of the league, but we did not defend well at all.

I am just hoping that the players can forget about the game, and not dwell on it too much.

A heavy defeat can sometimes be the turning point in a team’s season, and I think Sam Allardyce will be keen for his players to turn a negative into a positive.

I am sure that the squad will use the defeat as motivation to bounce back stronger this weekend.

There was mixed emotions for me after the game, as although the Hammers had lost, we had also signed three very exciting young players.

We have been struggling to create chances for some time and when we do create them we just aren’t taking them at the moment, and I think that the additions of Ricardo Vaz Te and Nicky Maynard will add some real quality to the squad.

I haven’t seen too much of Ravel Morrison, but I have heard about his talent and I think that Allardyce is the man to iron out any potential attitude problems.

We now have eight forwards at the club and I am sure that we have enough firepower to get us automatic promotion back to the Premier League, and I would not be surprised to see the likes of Freddie Sears and Freddie Piquionne leave Upton Park in the loan window.

However, the midfield is also pivotal, and we have been lacking that creative spark. I think that is where the likes of Morrison and Vaz Te will shine, creating opportunities for others.

We now have the perfect opportunity to get back to winning ways this weekend against arch-rivals Millwall.

And I hope that the football on the pitch does the talking and there is no trouble and both sets of fans can get to and from the game safely.

Millwall are not in the best of form themselves coming into the game, so I am hoping the fans create an electric atmosphere and really get behind the team.

If the players don’t get up for this one, then I am sure that the fans will let them know about it.

Tony Cottee was talking to Nathaniel John