English Premiership

Zabaleta: Irons must improve mentally

Dimitri Payet.(Getty Images)
Dimitri Payet.(Getty Images)

Cape Town - West Ham United defender Pablo Zabaleta admits the Irons need to show more mental strength, after losing 1-0 at Brighton on Friday night.

Heading into the Seagulls clash manager Manuel Pellegrini's charges had recorded a famous 3-1 victory over Manchester United the weekend before, but they failed to maintain the same level of intensity and slumped to defeat at the AMEX Stadium.

Zabaleta knows West Ham should have done better at Brighton and believes it's the team's mentality that must improve.

"At this moment, all we need to do is learn and improve mentally, to be ready to play in the way we did for the second half for the 90 minutes," Zabaleta told the club's official website.

"In the first half we gave the ball away often and cheaply. This is the Premier League and you can't make those mistakes - we conceded the goal and then you always need to react.

"In the second half we were the better team, we kept the ball and created good chances but we couldn't score.

"You need to be consistent as a team. Week in, week out you need to play well enough to pick up points. This is the most competitive and demanding league, so you have to be ready to play one game against a team who likes to keep possession, then the next against someone who is more direct.

"Every game is different and you have to be prepared to stop this. Then when we have the ball we need to play like we did in the second half."