Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack says the harsh criticism received last week in the wake of their Carling Cup defeat was warranted.

"We have to accept any criticism, yet we know we lost only one game. But it was a big game," said Ballack of the Wembley defeat to Tottenham. "That is why the criticism was more than for a normal league match. It was a final and everybody wants to win the cup.

"West Ham was a big, big victory for us. We know we have a good team and can play very well. We have two big games in front of us and I hope we can keep it going."