Thomas Sorensen has summed up the mood of dressing room defiance ahead of Aston Villa's important televised meeting with Tottenham-Hotspur on Saturday evening.

The Villa keeper made the most obvious of all the individual errors that added up to Villa's 4-0 thumping at Upton Park on Monday night. But the big Dane is insistent that all the negative 'vibes' associated with that embarrassing defeat were left behind in east London.

"Saturday's game with Spurs is the only thing that's important now," said Sorensen. "We have to take this as a lesson as it certainly can't happen again."

The thing that worries most Villa fans is to have been on the wrong end of such a comprehensive defeat so comparatively soon after their last one.

Such stuffings should be pretty much one-offs for a side with their supposed ambitions and calibre of players. But Villa also went down by a four-goal margin on their last trip to London at White Hart Lane last May. And the fact that two of the three four-goal defeats Villa have suffered in two and a bit seasons under David O'Leary have now come in their last eight Premiership matches is cause to have the alarm bells ringing.

"The lads have to look at themselves," said Sorensen, who included himself in that assessment with regard to his ill-timed dash for the cross which brought Marlon Harewood his hat-trick.

"It was not good enough," he said. "I just missed it and I have to hold my hand up for that one. But we've a big game coming up and we all have to perform a lot better.

"They outbattled us from the first whistle. Their fans made a lot of noise and made it intimidating, but it's a big season for them, they're back in the Premiership and you always expect that when you play away from home.

"In any case, we have the same feeling behind us when we play at Villa Park and we should have been able to cope with it."

Sorensen also resisted the temptation to attach any importance to either the effect of a double dose of international games or the 16-day break between club matches for many of the players.

"It was the same for both sides," he said, "and it's no excuse. We should have shown a lot more commitment than we did.

"We lost the key battles, we couldn't compete with their long balls, and they were two steps ahead all the time.

"Now we just want to write this off with a win on Saturday."

It was particularly hard for the two Villa players making their debut at Upton Park, Freddie Bouma and young James Milner.

"It's difficult to judge new players when the team is not playing well," pointed out Sorensen.

And Villa boss O'Leary also showed some sympathy.

"I don't think it was the place you wanted to come for your debut," he said. "The couple of lads making their debut may take their time to settle in, but they'll be two good players for us.

"When you come into a team you need everyone else to be playing well around you. But I don't want to go into that as it would sound like an excuse and take it away from West Ham."

One of those players, Milner, had enjoyed a far happier experience when he made his Leeds United debut as a late substitute in a 4-3 win on the same ground as a 16-year-old three seasons ago.

Milner was at least one of Villa's few bright spots on the night, forcing one good save from Roy Carroll and hitting both posts with a cross-cumshot, but it was still a hellish experience.

"We knew it was going to be tough," he said. "But we're disappointed as we could have fought better than that.

"Now we've just got to try and put it behind us, get to know each other a bit better and prepare for the weekend.

"Maybe the luck wasn't with us. But, we kept creating chances, even playing as badly as we did.

"And, if can defend better as a team, then we can look forward to turning it round and getting a good result at the weekend."