ANGEL Rangel admitted that Andy Carroll was a hard man to handle on Saturday afternoon.
The towering striker was the focal point for most West Ham attacks and ended up putting Sam Allardyce's side ahead late in the game at Upton Park.
Carroll managed to shake off marker Ashley Williams before sending a powerful header past Gerhard Tremmel.
That goal proved to be all that separated the Hammers from Swansea City.
The £35 million England striker, on loan from Liverpool, had looked like West Ham's most potent weapon all afternoon.
He had already seen a shot stopped by Tremmel's leg and set up other chances that the German keeper repelled before eventually making the breakthrough in the 77th minute.
"I have to say that our centre-backs did well for most of the game," said Rangel.
"He (Carroll) had one free header and he's good at that — he's a big fellow.
"He can score goals if you give him half a yard and I think that was the difference.
"They had some good chances before that and it probably wasn't until the end that we hurt them."
Swansea pushed hard for an equaliser in the closing stages when they gave the home side a number of scares.
But in the end, Michael Laudrup's side suffered only their second defeat in 14 matches.
"In the last ten minutes we pushed, we tried, we had a few chances, but they didn't go in," added Rangel.
"This is a difficult place to come.
"West Ham are very strong at home. It's unfortunate."