Wolves woe for Lomas

Steve Lomas has admitted to being 'embarrassed' as his West Ham United side ended their season with a 3-1 Barclays Premier Reserve League defeat at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The Hammers were given the perfect start by Julien Faubert within three minutes, only for Wolves to take control of the contest and run out deserved winners.

Right-back Matt Doherty scored either side of half-time before Northern Ireland international Johnny Gorman completed the hosts' comeback at AFC Telford's New Bucks Head stadium.

Wednesday's defeat meant the reserves ended the season fourth in the Southern Group table, and Lomas conceded that his side's performance had been as poor as it was in the 4-1 defeat at Blackburn Rovers in March.

"The only real disappointment before tonight for me was our defeat at Blackburn and perhaps the second half against Bolton, but that was on a par with Blackburn. As far as I'm concerned, it is no shock that we got beaten by teams that dug in and did the ugly side.

"I said to the lads before the game that there are two sides to the game - when you've got the ball and when you haven't. We're great at times when we've got the ball but, when we haven't got it, we're poor.

"I said to them that it is something they have got to address because they will end up eking their way out of the game."

In his playing days, Lomas earned a reputation for being a hard-working midfielder with a never-say-die attitude. The 37-year-old warned his young squad that they would have to show similar traits if they were to emulate him and enjoy successful careers at the highest level.

While he is eager for his team to play attractive, attacking football, the former Hammers hero pointed out that style is nothing without substance.

"I said to the lads before the game that it was a dodgy, bobbly old pitch and that they might have to go a bit more direct and we can't do that. Maybe it's something we've got to look at. We all want to get the ball and don't play it in behind at times, but defenders don't like having to turn and chase. Wolves did it time and time again - ran in behind, chased and harried.

"You can talk about shape and formations, but if you don't want to go out and win your individual battles, then you'll struggle.

"We're OK when the game is going well and passing the ball well, but when the game gets physical and teams don't let us play - it's an old cliché that you've got to earn the right to play - then we don't do so well.

"We got a great goal to get us up and running and on the front foot and we're thinking 'Let's go' but, to be fair to Wolves, they stepped up, pressed the ball a bit more, their front two were lively and they just won their battles. I said to the lads that there were very few of them who won their battles not just on the ball but off it and that's just not acceptable.

"To be brutally honest, I wasn't mad at them, I was just embarrassed and that's a very strong thing to say, but that was the truth. I was sitting on the side-line watching it and I couldn't believe what I was seeing.

"The pre-requisite is that you go out and win the battle with the man you're playing against and we didn't do it."