Issa Diop frustrated, despite scoring against Everton
Issa Diop had plenty of reasons to be content with his performance in West Ham United's 1-1 Premier League draw with Everton.
The Frenchman was re-called by manager David Moyes and marked his return with a goal, two vital blocks and a team-high nine clearances, including one vital intervention to deny Moise Kean.
However, the self-critical No23 was instead left frustrated as the Hammers conceded a set-play equaliser minutes after Diop's opener and, in his opinion, dropped two points at London Stadium.
For most part of the game we were solid, and I hope we are going to keep it this way
“It was a tough game and we could win but we didn’t win,” he told West Ham TV. “This is football and now we are focused for the game against Leicester [City on Wednesday].
“I am happy [to be back in the team]. It’s football and sometimes you’re in and sometimes you’re out, but every time I’m in the team I’ll try to do my best and I hope I am going to play more games.”
West Ham have conceded just two goals in the three matches since Moyes returned as manager, but Diop says the Irons need to be even better at the back in the future.
“Maybe [we look more solid defensively] but we conceded a goal and that’s the problem," he continued "For most part of the game we were solid, and I hope we are going to keep it this way.
“It’s true we are more solid and of course, when you concede less goals it’s easier to win the game, so I hope, like I said, we are going to keep this way and we are going to win more games.”
Diop's goal arrived courtesy of a fine flicked header from Robert Snodgrass's free-kick - one of a succession of dangerous set pieces delivered by the Scot.
“It’s good [to score] but it was a good free-kick from Snods, so he did all the job!" Diop smiled. "Of course, it’s easier for us to score when we have this kind of ball in."
Next up for the Hammers is a trip to King Power Stadium to take on a Leicester side that will likely be much-changed from the one which won 2-1 at London Stadium in late December.
The likes of Jamie Vardy, James Maddison and Wilfred Ndidi, who missed that game, will almost certainly be in Brendan Rodgers’ side in midweek, but the centre-back says the Irons cannot and will not be intimidated by their high-flying rivals.
“Of course, we are not afraid as it is just a football game and we know what we have to do,” he confirmed. “We know Leicester is having a good season but we will have our chances and we will go there to win.”