West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice felt his team deserved more from Sunday’s Premier League defeat at home to Brentford.
The Irons, perhaps recovering from their midweek exertions, uncharacteristically made a slower start than their adventurous opponents, and fell behind midway through the first half when Bryan Mbuemo’s follow-up trickled over Lukasz Fabianski’s line.
To their credit, West Ham responded, mounting waves of attacks at the beginning of the second half and appearing to have secured a well-deserved equaliser late on through Jarrod Bowen’s powerful half-volley.
But it was not to be as West Ham – beneficiaries of an injury-time winner at Leeds United last week – suffered defeat with virtually the last kick of the game, Brentford substitute Yoane Wissa slamming home a loose ball inside the box.
Rice admitted: “I’m devastated. Last week it was the other way around – we scored the winner late on – and I knew what a feeling that was, but to concede that late today was horrible.
“It was a poor start to the game for us, something we don’t usually actually do, especially this season and last season. To be fair, they could have been one or two up in the first ten minutes and we had to wake up.
“Obviously, they scored and went 1-0 up, but we just missed too many chances today. We had so many chances and it just seemed like we weren’t going to score at all.”
The Hammers’ fixture against Brentford was their seventh game in the last 23 days, having competed in three different competitions.
Their busy programme has encompassed midweek UEFA Europa League and Carabao Cup fixtures alongside weekend Premier League commitments and has seen them play in five different cities throughout the continent.
“Really, playing every game, it’s tough,” Rice reflected.
“You need to recover and look after your body, but they’re 90-minute football matches and you can get through them – it’s just about how you recover.
“We’re adapting to it. For me, it’s my first time doing it, and you realise how important it is to look after your body with all the games. You’re playing Thursday and Sunday, and you’re training and recovering and playing again – it’s non-stop.
“This is what we need. We’re footballers. We love being out there, playing, just today we didn’t get that result, but I thought we did enough to get something from the game.
“We’ve got a massive squad which the manager uses throughout the Cup games, the Europa League and the Premier League.
“Now, we’re going into another international break. Some of the lads will go away, and some will stay and get some rest.
“We’ll be ready to go again when games resume.”