David Moyes: I’m pleased we took a point, but disappointed we didn’t play better
David Moyes says his West Ham United team need to start games better after conceding the opening goal for the fourth Premier League game in a row in Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Brighton & Hove Albion.
The Hammers were second best in the first half at London Stadium, where Brighton dominated possession for long periods before Neal Maupay took advantage of slack marking and fortunate break inside the penalty area to fire the Seagulls in front a minute before the break.
Moyes changed his system and sent on substitutes Manuel Lanzini and Andriy Yarmolenko at half-time and the attacking duo helped turn the flow of the game in the Irons’ favour.
Lanzini set up left wing-back Ben Johnson to equalise with his first goal for the Club with a well-taken finish before Brighton retook the lead against the run of play when Lewis Dunk fired home after being hit by Tomas Soucek’s headed clearance.
But West Ham showed their resilient side again to level eight minutes from full-time when Dunk’s own header hit Soucek and flew into the top corner of the Brighton net, earning the home side a point.
I’m pleased we took a point, but disappointed we didn’t play better and take three points because it’s a home game
“The positives I take from it were that we were resilient, we kept at it and we eventually found a way of getting something out of it, but it wasn’t anything close to how I wanted it to look like or how I think we can play,” Moyes told West Ham TV. “I thought we were really disappointing in a lot of aspects today, but we’re in a little period just now when the injuries that we’ve had are just starting to catch up on us and we’re muddling through in certain areas, but overall I’m pleased that it was much better in the second half than it was in the first.
“[Conceding the first goal] has been a problem recently because we’re having to come from behind and it was such a bad goal [to concede], the way we gave it away was so bad and untidy, so I was disappointed with that.
“I thought, if we could get to half-time [at 0-0], we could see if we could do something about it, but the goal wasn’t good enough.”
Moyes was pleased with the impact made by Lanzini and Yarmolenko, who filled the wide attacking positions in a switch to a 3-4-3 formation in the second half, and both played a part in Johnson’s goal. But the manager also admitted he perhaps got his initial system wrong and inadvertently handed Brighton the initiative.
“I thought the two boys did well, but I want us to be good from the start and I need to analyse and see if maybe we just didn’t quite get it right with the way we went about it. It’s something which I’ll look at and analyse.
“Yarma and Manu helped us and made a difference,” he continued. “We were clearer in how we were trying to press them and tried to work against them and we certainly put them under a great deal more pressure.
“Ben took his goal well. Everyone knows he is a right-back but he has played as a left-back, so I thought while Arthur [Masuaku] is out we need to find a solution as to who can play left wing-back for us and we thought this game might be the ideal situation to give him an opportunity to do that.
“I thought an aspect of it was that we got the ball in the box more often and we looked more likely to get something from the game, which we hadn’t looked like doing in the first half.
“So, I’m pleased we took a point, but disappointed we didn’t play better and take three points because it’s a home game, but the way the Premier League is all the games are tough, Brighton are a good team and we knew it was going to be like that, but we didn’t cope well enough with them in the first half.”
West Ham play again on Tuesday evening, when they go to a Southampton side who have lost just twice in their last 13 matches, and who go into the game with nearly 24 hours more rest, having played away to Fulham on Boxing Day.
“It’s not completely correct,” said Moyes, of the fixture scheduling. “We’ll try not to moan about it or make too big an issue of it, as it’s for other people to decide if it’s unfair and obviously you can tell by what I’m saying that I don’t feel particularly good about it!”