Manuel Pellegrini’s West Ham United were defeated 1-2 by Eddie Howe’s AFC Bournemouth in the club’s first home game of the 2017/2018 Premier League season, on Saturday afternoon.
The Hammers took a first-half lead through a Marko Arnautovic penalty, after Javier Hernandez was fouled by Nathan Ake when he was about to score past Asmir Begovic from open play.
However, the hosts suffered a collapse after the break, allowing Callum Wilson to dribble through the entire defence and equalise, before Steve Cook headed the visitors’ winner on 66 minutes.
West Ham Matters had the privilege of being at London Stadium two days ago and given access to Pellegrini’s first home post-match press conference as West Ham manager, here’s every word from the experienced Chilean after his second defeat on the spin.
On West Ham’s First-Half Performance:
“Well, I was happy with the first 45 minutes, I think that the team played well, we didn’t have too many problems defending, we dominated most parts of the game, we scored a goal and we have another chance.”
On A Much More Timid Second-Half Display:
“But, I think that maybe in the second half, I felt that the team went without trust (in the tactics), in keeping that (lead) or to try(ing) to score another goal.
“That (being ahead in the game) must be our best moment because when you are winning 1-0, you have more time to prepare, the other team must give you more space.”
On His Team’s Many Defensive Errors:
“But we made some mistakes in both goals, the first goal was one player against four of our players, he arrived (too) near our six-yard box, and the second goal was in a set-piece.”
On The Team Trusting Their Tactics:
“I feel that we need to work very hard to recover that trust as a team, I think as individual players and us as a club.”
On Missed Chances And What The Hammers Needed To Do After Half-Time:
“Football, a lot of times, you miss some chances, but you must continue playing the same way, the talk was at half-time, not to work just as if we were winning one-nil, and waiting till they maybe made a mistake.
“We needed to continue pressing, we needed to continue trying to arrive (in attacking areas) to decide the game in the second half and we couldn’t do it because we stayed too much on our own side, and we made some mistakes in defence.”
On Adapting To The Summer Changes:
“We knew before that you need time when you have so many new players, a new manager, a new style of play, but most of all, we need to forget about last season.
“We need to recover the trust in each player and what they can do, we need to recover the trust as a club and that’s what we must work (on) in the next week.”
On The Memory Of Last Season Still Affecting Players:
“I think so, yes (that last season is still on the players’ minds) I think that was one of the reasons why, in the second half, we changed so much trying to keep the one-nil.”
On His Players’ Heads Dropping After Conceding The Equaliser:
“I repeat it, absolutely, a lapse of confidence.”
On Whether Or Not His Players Are Afraid Of Playing At London Stadium:
“I don’t think that it’s the stadium and I don’t think they have any fear to play here, what they need is to try and work the 90 minutes like they did the (first) 45 today.”