December 11 2013 Latest news:
By Nick Wright
Thursday, February 28, 2013
West Ham assistant manager Neil McDonald admits Emanuel Pogatetz’s late cameo in the 3-2 defeat to Spurs left a lot to be desired but insists the club are happy with how the defender has settled at Upton Park.
The Austrian, a January loan signing from German side Wolfsburg, was criticised for his performance on Monday night after he replaced Guy Demel in the 72nd minute with the Hammers leading 2-1.
Pogatetz slotted in a left-back but struggled badly with the joint threat of Aaron Lennon and Gareth Bale as Spurs hit back to claim a late win.
McDonald confirmed that Pogatetz’s introduction was down to fitness worries over Demel and said it was always going to be tricky for the ex-Middlesbrough man at such a late stage in the game.
“It’s always difficult coming into an atmosphere and a game at that stage,” said McDonald.
Pogatetz’s only previous appearance for West Ham came in their 2-1 defeat at Aston Villa earlier this month.
“He’s settled in OK, he’s already played a game,” continued McDonald.
“He was against a good player in Lennon and he had a few problems, he didn’t stop enough crosses to be fair.
“But it’s always difficult for the last 20 minutes, coming into the game and he’s settled in OK.”