What is your reaction to the result and performance?
Disappointed with the result in the end, I did not think it was deserved. I did not think we played that well but certainly didn’t deserve to lose the game, that was for sure.
Brentford started much quicker and it looked like you were a bit caught in the headlights early on. What did you make of that start and what you put it down to?
I thought maybe the opening 20 minutes or so but for the 20 minutes after that we were the better team. I don’t know how many times we got to the byline and we did not pick the pass or we did not take the chance, but I thought the first half ended up probably even but yes, the first 20 minutes didn’t look so good. I think if you looked at the second 20 minutes I think you’d probably say West Ham were the better team in that period. We just really today didn’t take the opportunity we had and we had quite a few.
That was an issue at times last season, even when you were winning you spoke about wasting chances. Is that on individuals or is it creating more chances?
Well I thought today we did create chances. I also thought we missed other really good opportunities to create more chances. The final pass didn’t get there but it wasn’t for the lack of chances today, we had enough chances to win the game and I have to say Brentford did a really good job. They are a hard team to play against and I think a lot of teams will find that this season.
Will you have to get used to fans expectations being higher?
You know the job as a manager I feel is to raise expectations and I hope I have done that in some way. We want to be challenging, I want to be in the top four, I want to be around those places. What we are coping with is lots more games than we have had but I don’t think that is the reason [we lost] today. I think we got stronger, there were 30 minutes in the second half today where we were really dominant and forceful and in truth how we didn’t go on to score or get more goals in that period [I don’t know]. And like what happened last week where we scored late on, they’ve scored late on this week to win it, so that was a bit unfortunate.
Was it a silly challenge from Ogbonna in the last minute?
Yeah, I thought it was. I thought the player should never have been able to wriggle away from the byline. He got out of a couple of players, I think a couple of players were involved and we gave away a free-kick, which was stupid. Let’s be fair, for most of the time in the second half we were aggressive, aggressive in our play trying to create and make opportunities, so there wasn’t an awful lot we had done wrong in the second half but that certainly wasn’t so good in the end.
Thomas Frank mentioned bravery, was that a factor that maybe surprised you and did you feel your players were brave enough to match their bravery?
I don’t think I was surprised, but as I said before, I think they are a difficult team and will be a difficult team for most teams to play against. I think the bravery he means is how well they passed it in the first half. I thought when they needed to, they used their centre-forwards well as a partnership when he needed to as well.
So I think that’s probably what he meant but I think for long periods we had made a lot of chances and opportunities and we did not take them. But I have to commend Brentford, they’ve done a good job and as I said, they’ll continue to do a good job because they’ve got different ways of winning games. They can pass it well and they can also knock it long and have a couple of strikers who combine very well as well.
Do you think teams will work Brentford out?
The thing with Brentford is they have got momentum and obviously games like today will give them even more momentum, but I think the momentum over the last two or three years in the Championship, I know they missed out to get to the Premier League a couple of times. But when you become a club that wins you start to get used to it, you start to know what the feeling is like. And I think Brentford will keep on going, I think there will be some teams that work them out but they ran Liverpool very close last weekend, and let’s be fair, I think we have to say we were really disappointed that we lost the game 2-1. If we’d won the game 2-1, I don’t think anybody could have complained.
Off the back of both of your Europa League wins so far, (there have come) two home defeats and now I know both have been very fine margins. Is there any concern getting used to that schedule?
The answer is no, no, there’s no [concern], because we’re going to get used to it. I want us to be used to, I hope we’re getting used to again next season playing in European football again so you know I’m not gonna say, how good an achievement, it was and then bemoan that we’ve got Thursday/Sunday far from it, it will be the opposite. I’m saying bring it on, and I’ll have more of it.
If you look at the fine margins of the two games you would have to start saying there were very close calls. One is a penalty and one is a 93rd-minute goal. But we have to get used to it, we need to win because I want to be successful in the Premier League. I think we had seven or eight players who were not playing the other night so I don’t think it can be anything to do with any other reason than we just didn’t score the goals today and take our opportunities which for me was the biggest problem today. Not much else.
We have seen Declan Rice make more forward runs. Are they starting to have an impact on Tomas Soucek’s form?
Yeah, it could be a little bit to do with that. Tomas has not quite got on the end of things as well and things have not fallen for him. He scored last week but it was chalked out at Leeds.
I think he is fighting for a wee bit of his best form. Is it to do with Declan getting forward a but more? Well, I am hoping the two of them, can get goals and gives us two goalscoring midfield players but I think Tomas has struggled a wee bit, so I don’t disagree with your question.
According to OPTA, that was your first Premier League match as manager of West Ham in which you did not bring on a sub. What was the thinking behind that?
Well, when I was going to bring on Vlasic we got back in the game. I was going to bring him on and then we got the goal. I thought we were just too much on top at the time and there was no need to change it. There was no need to change the balance. If anything [I thought] a second goal would come and it should have, we had the chance to score the second goal and we didn’t take it. And we only get caught out in the end by a free-kick.
/ 15 hours ago
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