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Page last updated at 23:40 GMT, Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Steve Clarke backs keeper Robert Green to bounce back

West Ham keeper Robert Green spills the ball to allow Bolton's Ivan Klasnic to score in a 3-1 defeat for the Hammers at the Reebok stadium
Green spills the ball to allow Klasnic to score

West Ham assistant manager Steve Clarke expects goalkeeper Robert Green to make up for his mistake against Bolton with "the game of his life" against Chelsea.

Green embarrassingly spilled a Gary Cahill shot to let Ivan Klasnic put Bolton 2-1 ahead as the Hammers went on to lose 3-1.

"It was a big mistake. But he is a man and he'll bounce back," said Clarke.

"He needs to have the game of his life against Chelsea. That's the way he has to react and I'm sure he will."

Struggling West Ham had gone behind to a Chung-Yong Lee goal before Alessandro Diamanti equalised at the Reebok Stadium.

But the game turned on a dreadful error from Green, as the England keeper let a simple catch slip from his grasp to give Klasnic the easiest of goals.

And a lacklustre Hammers side rarely looked like getting back into the match before Cahill added the home side's third to leave the Hammers second from bottom of the Premier League table.


"We have to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves down and get on with it because we need points as soon as possible," added Clarke.

"When we are on the type of run we are on, you lack confidence and that is a big factor.

"The squad is a little threadbare at the moment. We know that but the players are working as hard as they can.

"We are also making unfortunate mistakes which are costing us dear and all these things come together with the net result being where we are in the league."


Clarke tips Green to bounce back

He added: "It would be nice to get a result against one of the big teams. We have Chelsea at the weekend and if we could start there that would be good.

"The real key is just to keep working hard. The players are a willing bunch and I'm sure they will give more. The quicker we turn this corner the better."

The victory helped ease the pressure on Bolton boss Gary Megson as his side earned a much-needed win which lifted them out of the relegation zone.

"It was important given the situation we were in and the team we were playing," he said.

"We never said so but this was a must-win game and thankfully we got the three points.

"I thought there was one team trying to win it and another trying to nick a win."

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see also
Bolton 3-1 West Ham
15 Dec 09 |  Premier League
Tuesday's football photos
15 Dec 09 |  Football

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