It is a little early in the season to tag games as ‘must-win’, but Winston Reid says West Ham United ‘have’ to defeat Brighton & Hove Albion on Friday evening.
Reid and centre-half partner Jose Fonte were left frustrated after a late Chris Wood equaliser denied them a welcome Premier League victory at Burnley on Saturday.
The Hammers had taken the lead before being reduced to ten men before the half-hour mark by Andy Carroll’s red card, but looked like holding onto their advantage thanks to a resilient defensive display at Turf Moor.
However, Wood’s header from Johan Berg Gudmundsson’s pinpoint right-wing cross meant West Ham travelled back down south with one point rather than three, placing even more importance on Friday’s London Stadium date with the newly-promoted Seagulls.
“We would have liked to have kept another clean sheet, but it didn’t quite pan out that way,” Reid observed. “We will look to bounce back next week, we have a game against Brighton on Friday night and we have to win that game.
“They have had a good start to the season, but for me personally we have better players than them and that is no disrespect to Burnley.
“We had a very poor first three games and we have had some injuries, but we have got just about all our injured players back now and you could see there are good players that can’t even get on to the bench.
“Hopefully we will do well this season, but we need to start picking up some more wins so that we can get further up the table.”
Reflecting on Saturday’s draw in more depth, Reid felt West Ham were good value for the advantage given to them by Michail Antonio’s 19th-minute goal, but admitted the ten men had grown tired as the final whistle approached.
“I think when you concede with five minutes to go it feels like a defeat, but it was a good ball in. It is difficult for us to defend against Chris. It was a good ball in and he has a pretty easy header in to the net.
“It was disappointing to concede that late, but under the circumstances of how the game panned out, we would have liked to have held on, but I guess a point away from home is a pretty good outcome.
“I think we knew that we had to be solid. We knew that they would have a lot of possession and that they would try and get crosses in and be a threat, but I thought we dealt with it as best as we could.
“We had a couple of chances, especially at the start of the second half. We got a little bit tired towards the end of the game
“So, all in all, we are getting better. I think the football we played at the start of the match was really good and if we had eleven players on the pitch [for the whole 90 minutes] we would have ultimately won the game.”