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Hammers happy with Pogatetz despite struggles against Spurs

Emanuel Pogatetz, West Ham United. Photo: John Walton/PA Emanuel Pogatetz, West Ham United. Photo: John Walton/PA

Thursday, February 28, 2013
11:00 AM

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.

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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.”

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