Manuel Pellegrini admitted West Ham United’s away form is ‘unacceptable’ after his team slipped to a fifth defeat in their last six Premier League matches on their travels at Cardiff City.
The Hammers were beaten 2-0 after producing another below-par performance away from London Stadium, conceding goals early in each half to Junior Hoilett and Victor Camarasa.
A clearly frustrated Pellegrini vowed to diagnose the cause of his side’s travel sickness after watching them squander another opportunity to improve their chances of securing a seventh-place finish.
We must review what we are doing when we are playing away because in four [of the last five] away games we didn’t score one goal and we conceded too many
“More than a disappointing result, it was a disappointing performance,” he began. “We must review what we are doing when we are playing away because in four [of the last five] away games we didn’t score one goal and we conceded too many.
“We knew that today we would find a team that was in a difficult moment after three defeats in a row and fighting against relegation, but they didn’t have to do much to score two goals.
“For both goals, we were not concentrating and if we had, we could at least have played badly and drawn nil-nil. I think that was a very bad performance.
“We need to improve our away form. We need to see what we are doing wrong when we play away because it is impossible and unacceptable to play four away games and not score one goal.”
Pellegrini said his team had been warned that Neil Warnock’s relegation-threatened side would be on the front foot from the start at Cardiff City Stadium – but his players failed to heed those warnings and fell behind within four minutes when Hoilett converted Josh Murphy’s cross.
Cardiff doubled their lead early in the second half when more hesitant defending allowed Hoilett to cross, Murphy to head back across goal and Camarasa to scramble the ball across the line from close range.
West Ham belatedly rallied, hit the post through Declan Rice’s low shot and saw Neil Etheridge turn aside substitute Marko Arnautovic’s shot, but they could not turn the game around.
“We expected them to come at us from the first whistle and we talked about that before the game,” the manager confirmed.
“We improved a little bit in the last 15 minutes of the first half, but we didn’t create chances. We had two in the second half with Declan hitting the post and Marko seeing a shot saved but this was not enough to win a game against a team fighting against relegation.
“Maybe if we had scored and made it 2-1 with 15 or 20 minutes to play they could have become nervous, but I think we must try to play better before that.”
Finally, Pellegrini revealed in his post-match press conference Andy Carroll was not involved in Saturday's game after suffering an ankle injury.
"Andy was not considered for this game. He has some problem in his ankle, so he was not in the squad."