Zouma: We have to improve in both boxes

West Ham United captain Kurt Zouma felt there was plenty to be positive about his team’s performance in defeat to Manchester United on Sunday – but admits they need to be more clinical.

The Irons found themselves on the wrong end of a 3-0 scoreline, with Rasmus Højlund’s ferocious first-half strike being added to by an Alejandro Garnacho double after the break.

Zouma’s side had ample opportunity to give themselves a foothold in the contest, however, with Emerson and Jarrod Bowen both having chances to get on the scoresheet, while a host of set piece situations went close to yielding a goal.

Ultimately the visitors were unable to beat Red Devils stopper André Onana and Zouma says they need to be more ruthless when they take on Arsenal next weekend.

“They were more clinical,” the No4 stated. “We had a few chances to score but we couldn’t. It happens in football, especially at this place, which is a tough one to come to.

“I think we had a bit of personality on the ball, we played better than in the couple of games before, I would say, but we couldn’t manage to finish our chances and when they came to our box they were more clinical. We have to improve in both boxes.”

We played better than in the couple of games before, but we couldn't manage to finish our chances. We have to improve in both boxes
Kurt Zouma

While chances were hard to come by in the midweek draw with AFC Bournemouth, the Hammers were far freer in their attacking play at Old Trafford.

West Ham registered 22 shots on the Manchester United goal and Zouma is sure they can take that positivity forward into the weeks ahead.

“The most important thing is the result,” the captain stated. “We’ve played well on Sunday and lost 3-0 – that’s football, it happens and most important is to get the result and get the team back on track.

“We are a family. Family is tight, we help each other and the spirit is good. We lost today, but you could feel the spirit was still there. Everyone can’t wait for the next game.”

Kurt Zouma heads the ball at Manchester United

Next up for the Irons is that derby duel with the Gunners, when Zouma and his teammates will be out to register a third victory of the campaign against the north Londoners.

With a full week on the training pitch ahead of them – and important squad members edging closer to returns – the Frenchman believes they are well set to have a good go.

“Everyone is disappointed, which is good because you don’t want to lose games,” he added. “We want to improve – we’ve got more time to prepare for a big game against Arsenal next week.

“Hopefully we’re going to be ready for it and make sure we get the three points at home.

“[Lucas Paquetá and Michail Antonio] are two important players for the team and we need everybody, to be fair. I don’t know when, but it will be good to get them back.

“The players in the team in the team now are doing their jobs and hopefully will keep doing it, and everybody who comes into the team is ready to provide.

“We just want to bounce back from this defeat. Next week is going to be a good derby and hopefully we get the three points at home.”


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