Krisztián Hegyi has warned that West Ham United U21s cannot afford to let a second-half performance like the one shown against Manchester United U21s happen again.
It appeared the Irons were on course for another well-earned three points after storming to a two-goal advantage at Rush Green Stadium on Friday evening, through smart finishes by Pierre Ekwah and Divin Mubama, but the Red Devils would fight back in the second period to claim all three points.
After halving the deficit through Joe Hugill’s penalty on 52 minutes, the visitors netted from corners on 68 minutes and 85 minutes, with Marc Jurado and Sonny Aljofree respectively equalising, and winning, the match for the away side.
“We’re really disappointed,” Hegyi told whufc.com. “I think we did really well in the first half as a team, but in the second half we gave away three frustrating goals.
“They all came from set-pieces, which is particularly annoying, and we know we have to deal with it and do better next time. We can’t let such a second half performance like that happen again.”
Losing in such a major was of particular annoyance or the Hammers, after such a bright start to the game, and while Hegyi offered praise to Friday’s opponents for their efforts in fighting back, the U21s captain admitted the development side expect more from themselves.
He continued: “In the second half, we didn’t have much possession of the ball. To be fair to Manchester United, they took a lot of control of the game. We tried to defend really hard and we had done so well in the first half defensively, but it was just poor in the second half.
“We need to do our analysis so we can improve, and we need to focus. It was three set-pieces that they scored from and we should be more focused when it comes to those moments.”
Defeat ends a four-match winning run for the U21s and Hegyi says the team can take heart from recent performances.
The goalkeeper knows the second-half against Manchester United was an outlier in terms of performance, and is confident the Hammers can return to winning ways next week against Chelsea.
“We know we can play better and claim points,” he added. “We need to stay positive and now focus on getting ready for the next game. We want to bounce back and we will.
“I’m confident that we can get a win in the next game and we can improve on the things that didn’t go right for us against Manchester United.”