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Tony Cottee: Silly mistakes at the back cost us again

PUBLISHED: 10:41 26 November 2009 | UPDATED: 15:17 05 October 2010

HULL, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 21:  Guillermo Franco (L) of West Ham contests with Jimmy Bullard of Hull during the Barclays Premier League match between Hull City and West Ham United at the KC Stadium on November 21, 2009 in Hull, England.  (Photo by Hamish Blair/Getty Images)

HULL, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 21: Guillermo Franco (L) of West Ham contests with Jimmy Bullard of Hull during the Barclays Premier League match between Hull City and West Ham United at the KC Stadium on November 21, 2009 in Hull, England. (Photo by Hamish Blair/Getty Images)

2009 Getty Images

It was disappointing to not get the win at Hull after leading 2-0, but in the end I suppose we were lucky to get a point,"" says Tony Cottee

It was disappointing to not get the win at Hull after leading 2-0, but in the end I suppose we were lucky to get a point.

When you are down towards the bottom of the league you need to hang on to leads and when it is against a team around you, it is even more important to do so.

We made a great start and after going two goals up I was hopeful we could have got the win that we desperately needed.

I know we were losing, but because of them going down to 10 men and us having already gone two-up I would say it was more like two points dropped more than one gained.

It was very frustrating to see Hull come back into the game and I have to admit I was worried when they took the lead, as they seemed to have all the momentum at that point.

The fact that we lost the lead was made worse by the fact that they were sloppy goals to concede at crucial points in the game

The second was particularly poor in my opinion and the penalty was a silly decision on Julien Faubert.

It is odd, because generally I think the defence have played okay of late and we look a lot tighter back there than maybe we did at the beginning of the season.

We conceded three goals on Saturday, two came from free kicks and one from the penalty spot so I think if we stop committing silly fouls in and around the box our results will certainly improve.

Hull went down to 10 men and from there you would hope there would be enough talent on the pitch to make the most of it and collect the points, but it was not to be.

We have struggled against 10 men a few times this season and we have not taken advantage of situations where the opposition have slipped up and perhaps we should start working on 10 v 11 on the training pitch.

At the other end I was delighted to see Guillermo Franco find the net.

Like I have said many times before there is a lot of pressure on Carlton Cole to get the goals and the more that Franco can get, the less the team have to rely on Carlton and that is certainly a good thing.

Franco has made a great start to his career at West Ham.

His goals are a real bonus and he seems to play really well and he seems to play just off the striker.

From there he brings other players into play well and is really good at holding the ball up with his back to goal.

It was also good to see youngster Junior Stanislas be given the chance to impress from the start of a game.

He is still a teenager and like I have said before he can't play every game and because he is still so young he won't be consistent and I was happy with his performance against Hull.

We are quite a narrow team and I know Gianfranco Zola prefers to play a diamond-like formation in midfield and while that obviously leaves you strong in the middle of the park, the wings can be neglected at times.

With Junior in the team it does give us width and does gives us an opportunity to get more balls into the box for the likes of Carlton and Guillermo.

I still personally think it is important to play with width, because I feel it gives you more creative options, it is just a shame Junior missed that great chance at the end.

The game this weekend is massive, but we should be more excited than apprehensive as Burnley's away form is diabolical.

They have only picked up one point from six games and it is certainly a must-win game for us.

The same cannot be said for Burnley, as their superb home form means they are sitting comfortably in mid-table and that can also play to our advantage they are not scrapping towards the bottom desperate for points.

A win would take us a bit further away from the relegation zone and with the champions Manchester United coming to Upton Park next week, it makes this Saturday's game even more important.

If you look further down the road, the fixtures don't get easier either and trips to Birmingham and Bolton before we play Chelsea at home will not be easy.

Tony Cottee was talking to Matt Diner

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