West Ham United U23s midfielder Joe Powell believes Wednesday night’s Premier League International Cup defeat to Wolfsburg 'B' boiled down to critical moments not going their way.
The playmaker, who celebrated turning 21-years-old yesterday, gave the Hammers the perfect start to their second group stage match when his in-swinging delivery from a free-kick found the far corner of the visitors' net.
The German side then hit back twice to take the lead, before an inspired free-kick routine between Powell and Anthony Scully saw the Irish striker lash in a venomous equaliser on the stroke of half-time.
Despite the Hammers having the better of the second-half chances, Wolfsburg ‘B’ had the final word two minutes from time when Julian Justvan struck a sweet cross-goal shot to win the game, and Powell believes that his team ultimately lost out due to such crucial moments.
“I think we started off really well getting the goal,” Powell told whufc.com. “We were on the front foot initially, and then they started to claw their way back into the game.
“They had a spell in the middle of the first half and managed to get their goals, but then we took control of the game again. In the second half I think we were the much better team.
“The game went through patches for both sides, but it came down to the crucial moment, which is when they scored their goal to get the win.”
The boys are very disappointed after the loss tonight, but there’s nothing to say we can’t turn it around again this weekend.
Powell was pleased to register involvements in both the Hammers’ goals on the evening, but hopes the end result will serve as motivation for himself and his team ahead of their Premier League 2 Division 2 trip to Swansea this Sunday lunchtime.
He said: “There were certain things throughout the game I think I could’ve done better personally. My final pass, which is normally the thing I’m best at, wasn’t particularly strong today – but an assist and a goal, I’ll take it.
“I think as you saw, after our last loss [against Cheltenham], we came out against Stoke and produced a solid defensive display and finished our chances up top in a 4-0 win.
“I don’t think it’ll be any different against Swansea at the weekend. The boys are very disappointed after the loss tonight, but there’s nothing to say we can’t turn it around again this weekend.
“A big positive in our season so far is that we still haven’t lost in the league this season. To go unbeaten in the league is still one of our main goals, and we’re determined that it will be one of our big achievements come the end of the season.”
The Hammers’ Premier League 2 Division 2 match at Swansea kicks off at 1pm on Sunday 3 November; as always, you’ll be able to follow along through whufc.com’s live blog.