Sam Allardyce admitted West Ham almost fluffed their lines before skipper Kevin Nolan inspired the Hammers to a 3-1 victory over Derby to reduce Southampton's lead at the top of the npower Championship table to two points.
Tamas Priskin celebrated his loan switch from Ipswich by firing the Rams ahead on 34 minutes but Carlton Cole levelled and Kevin Nolan crashed home a volley after the break. Mark Noble's 74th minute penalty finally made the game safe but Allardyce accepted the pressure to capitalise on Southampton's slip-up contributed to a first half wobble.
Allardyce said: "We weren't very good today, there's no doubt about that. I think the players saw the Southampton result and that plus the 4-4-2 formation I picked affected them."We changed to a 4-3-3 after the break and everyone saw the best of our players after that."
He added: "It was very important that we scored just before half-time, I think it knocked Derby back. But the chances we created and the goals we scored show how much better we got.
"We played better against Bristol City than we did today, and we drew 0-0. We created 20-odd attempts at goal that night, but because we drew everyone was unhappy.
"Performances and results are two different things related by people who watch football.
"The performance was only good enough for 45 minutes. That needs to be better at home, especially, and it's something we want for 90 minutes from the players, starting Tuesday at Middlesbrough. It was a great comeback from one nil down, and in the end we ran out comfortable winners."
Priskin's opener came only two days after his move from Ipswich and was the result of a fine start to the game but Rams boss Nigel Clough claimed Cole's equalising header knocked the stuffing out of his side.
He said: "We could have gone in at half-time one nil up, and conceding right on the break affected us in the same way that it gave West Ham a lift after half-time.
"It was all going to plan for us. I felt a little bit hard done by for the free-kick for the first goal. I haven't seen the penalty, I've heard it was outside the box but the referee gave it very enthusiastically. It's these little things that went against."