Sunday 21 Nov
Updated Sunday 21 Nov 13:26
West Ham Tv

Nikola Vlašić: There is a long way to go this season

 

Nikola Vlašić says West Ham United need to put Saturday’s 1-0 Premier League defeat at Wolverhampton Wanderers out of their minds and concentrate on challenges to come.

The Irons suffered their first defeat in eight matches and first away loss since mid-April at Molineux, where Wolves secured three points through Raul Jimenez’s accurate second-half strike.

Vlašić was one of three substitutes sent on by David Moyes as he sought to find a late equaliser, but the home side held firm to end West Ham’s four-match winning run and become just the second team to shut out the Hammers in 12 Premier League matches.

The Croatia international produced some bright moments in the final 20 minutes, but his efforts and those of his teammates came to nothing against a determined and well-organised Wolves side.

We know our quality and people are starting to recognise how good West Ham are, so we just need to bounce back

Nikola Vlašić

“It’s disappointing because it was a hard game and Wolves played very well today and created a lot of chances,” the No11 reflected. “We weren’t at our level like we are used to so we need to bounce back quickly and now we need to continue as we were before we started this game. We need to forget this quickly and move on.

“I don’t know really [what went wrong for us in the middle third of the game], but Wolves played very good, like I said, and we need to give credit to them. They controlled the ball, they created chances and we didn’t.

“We had opportunities in the first ten minutes and a few half-chances in the last ten minutes, but we didn’t score, so I think today was not our day.”

 

Nikola Vlašić

 

West Ham’s defeat was just their third in the Premier League in 2021/22, and just their third in 18 matches in all competitions this season.

While the Wolves supporters sang and some commentators will claim that the result casts doubts over the Hammers’ challenge for a top-four finish, Vlašić instead suggested it is far too early in the season to think about where the team will be in the table come next May.

“This is our 12th game of the season in the Premier League, so there is a long way to go, but we know our quality and people are starting to recognise how good West Ham are, so we just need to bounce back like I said,” he said.

Vlašić himself has had to be patient so far this season, with all but one of his starts coming in the UEFA Europa League and Carabao Cup.

But the 24-year-old, who was signed from Russian Premier League club CSKA Moscow at the end of August, knows his opportunities will come with the squad still fighting on four fronts this season.

“The team won four straight Premier League games and when you are winning you don’t change the team – that’s football,” he observed.

“We have a very good squad of quality players. It’s the same for every other team in the league, so we need to continue to work hard and be better.”