Manuel Pellegrini was left to lament missed opportunities for the second home Premier League game in succession as West Ham United were pegged back by Sheffield United.
Just as they did against Crystal Palace in their previous fixture at London Stadium, the Hammers took the lead, only to pass up chances to build on their lead and then concede at the other end.
While the Irons were able to secure a point, despite allowing Lys Mousset to cancel out Robert Snodgrass’s opener, Pellegrini was frustrated by his team’s inability to kill the game off on home turf.
“For us, it’s a bad result, without any doubt, first because we are playing here at home and second because we had the options to decide the game when we were winning 1-0,” he said, matter of factly.
“I think that with a little bit more accuracy in our finishing we could have decided but we didn’t and after that they scored their goal and got a draw.
“We knew they were coming here to defend well because the do it very well. They just came with the counter-attack. They didn’t create too many options.
“They had one cross in the first half and one chance from a corner which Roberto saved, but the rest of the game they didn’t create other than their goal, which was a little bit strange.”
The manager opted to make five changes to the team which started the disappointing 2-0 defeat at Everton, three of them in defence and two in midfield.
Three of the newcomers, Pablo Zabaleta, Fabian Balbuena and goalscorer Snodgrass, had started just two Premier League matches between them before the weekend, but Pellegrini felt the experienced trio performed admirably on their return.
“I think the three of them played very well; Pablo and Fabian in their defending and Robert scored the goal and worked a lot during the whole game, so I am happy for the three of them,” he continued.
“Robert scored the goal and he is a player who gives a bit of bite to our team. We need to be more clinical to decide the game, though, so we lost two more important points at home.”
So, after collecting eleven points from their opening six Premier League matches, West Ham have picked up just two from their last four, dropping from the top four into mid-table.
So, what does Pellegrini think his team needs to do to rediscover their winning form?
“I think the only thing that happened for me in the last two games at home is that we were a little bit unlucky with the result; both today and against Crystal Palace also, when we lost that game,” he observed.
“But you need to do more when you play at home, to create more chances and to decide the game.
“If we had those extra five points, it would be a great start to the season but now we are in the middle of the table and we must continue improving.”