Manning: We conceded poor goals
West Ham United U23 boss Liam Manning was left frustrated set pieces were his team’s undoing at home to Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday as the Seagulls were 4-2 winners at the Chigwell Construction Stadium.
The Hammers conceded three times in the first half before pulling back to within a goal just before the interval through Amadou Diallo. Moses Makasi got a second to re-ignite the contest in the second half.
But Brighton added a late fourth to round off the victory and send West Ham into the Christmas break on the back of three consecutive defeats.
Manning lamented his outfit’s defending for the first half goals after the full time whistle.
He said: “The game is over at half-time when you give three goals away like that. They’re extremely bad goals to give away yet again.
“You talk about desire to attack and head the ball, we concede as a result of three set-pieces when everyone in the back line is six-foot-plus. It’s disappointing and if you do that, you won’t play in the first team.
“I thought we were a little safe in possession first half and there wasn’t enough purpose to our play. We needed to look forward, run forward more often and we got back into it and had numerous chances but we weren’t clinical enough and we didn’t do well enough in front of goal.”
The game is over at half-time when you give three goals away like that. They’re extremely bad goals to give away yet again.
One of the positives for the Hammers was the performance of 15-year-old goalscorer Diallo, who – making his full U23 debut – shone in an attacking sense and showed why he is the name on everyone’s lips at the moment after a series of terrific performances for the U18s.
“Amadou showed a real desire to have an impact on the game,” continued Manning, reflecting on the teenager’s performance. “He showed lots of great moments of quality and although he tired towards the end, he had a good game and he will learn from today.
“He needs to understand what the level required is and I’m sure he will, but it’s a great start for him today.”
The Premier League 2 outfit now have a three-week break before they return to action in 2019 when they travel to Manchester City.
Manning explained what decisions will need to be made over the Christmas period given the side’s disappointing results of late.
“The loan window will open in January so there could be some boys going out on loan, but it’s now getting to a point for us where we are making mistakes and you need to say ‘Who’s next?’ There are people under pressure.
“Ajibola played well today and he’s only 18, Jeremy Ngakia is training well and pushing for an opportunity in the U23s and that’s where we’re at. If certain people aren’t doing it or aren’t able to do it, in the industry we’re in, you have to push the next ones.”