Taylor: Dubai break has refreshed and reinvigorated West Ham

The entire squad left the country for a mid-season break following their defeat to Aston Villa, and the midfielder believes it will only serve as a positive ahead of the run-in

West Ham midfielder Matthew Taylor believes his side are refreshed and raring to go for the final 12 games of the season following their mid-season trip to Dubai.

The Hammers left the country immediately after their loss to Aston Villa on Sunday, just as they did last term ahead of their promotion push, and Taylor is sure the short break will only serve to benefit the team ahead of a tough run of fixtures.

"I think the trip has been beneficial for the team," he told the club’s official website.

"It was nice to get away from the weather here and get the sun on our backs, but most importantly it was to keep the team together.

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"We're hoping for the same effect as last year. It's something the manager has always done throughout his career with his teams and if he continues to do it, he must believe that it works. The proof is in the pudding."

Taylor admitted he and his team-mates were hugely disappointed to leave Villa Park empty-handed on Sunday after growing into the game following some early pressure from the home side.

Paul Lambert’s side triumphed 2-1 thanks to a penalty and a stunning long-range free kick, but West Ham dominated proceedings for the majority and nearly nicked a point with a late flurry.

"Aston Villa started the game extremely well and in the first 20 minutes they put us under a lot of pressure, but we came into the game a lot more towards the end of the first half," he added.

"We came out strongly in the second half and probably didn't make the pressure and chances count by scoring. In the end, we've been punished first of all by a penalty and then by a fantastic free kick. We still had chances to get a point after that, but I think frustrating is the word to describe last Sunday.

"Every time you don't win a football match in the Premier League it's an opportunity missed. For us it was disappointing, because we felt that we dominated the game for large spells and should have taken something from it."