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West Ham defender: We were just awful against Southampton

Barclays Premier League. West Ham United v Southampton. Barclays Premier League. West Ham United v Southampton.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014
6:00 PM

Hammers full back Joey O’Brien has no excuses for Saturday’s dismal performance

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Southampton's Graziano Pelle gives his side a 3-1 lead during the Barclays Premier League match at Upton Park, London.Southampton's Graziano Pelle gives his side a 3-1 lead during the Barclays Premier League match at Upton Park, London.

This time last season, West Ham went into their home game with Stoke City full of confidence having won their opening match at Upton Park and then earned a draw at Newcastle United.

What followed was a dismal 1-0 defeat against the Potters, and it would seem that lightning struck once again on Saturday as a West Ham side, on the back of a fine win at Crystal Palace, were simply brushed aside by a talented Southampton side.

Manager Sam Allardyce was scathing in his condemnation of the team’s performance and for defender Joey O’Brien, there were no excuses either.

“To be fair we were awful from the start and we got what we deserved really,” he said.

Barclays Premier League. West Ham United v Southampton.Barclays Premier League. West Ham United v Southampton.

“We were poor in every aspect of the game and we didn’t deserve anything from it.”

O’Brien was far from the worst player on the field. He made a superb last-ditch tackle in the second half, while his block in the first half almost prevented Southampton from equalising.

But the 28-year-old was still holding his hands up as the team took collective responsibility.

“We had watched Southampton before the game so we were aware of what they were about,” he said. “But they signed some really good players, and they caused us all sorts of problems.”

Fellow defender Winston Reid was visibly upset by the team’s performance and by some of the mistakes they made.

“We were not at our best and we need to improve,” he said. “It was disappointing to concede the second goal from a short corner, but that’s only one goal. We conceded three and that shouldn’t happen.

“We lost the game, we didn’t play very well and now we’ve lost three home games, so we have to put that right.

“It was a general off day, our passing wasn’t there and Southampton were the better team, that was it.”

That was pretty much it, but it is how West Ham bounce back from that which is now the important thing as O’Brien knows only too well.

“It is all about the next game,” added the full back. “The good thing about football is that you always get a second chance.

“The next game is against Hull City and we get a real chance to put things right. The thing is not to lose enthusiasm and not to lose the end game which is to finish in the top 10.

“We are only three games into a 38-game season. It was a poor performance, but we still have players to come back, so hopefully we can just kick on and hopefully get the three points at Hull.”

After last season’s home defeat by Stoke, the Hammers went on a disappointing run until October when they suddenly burst into life with an incredible victory at Spurs.

West Ham cannot afford to go on a similar run this season. They face a tough trip to Hull, where they lost last season, on September 15 before a home game against Liverpool the following week.

The Hammers have lost their first two home league games in the past, but they tend not to lose the third.

Under Avram Grant they went down 3-1 to Sam Allardyce’s Bolton Wanderers and 3-1 at home to Chelsea, before hitting back with a 1-0 win over Spurs.

Even back in 1961-62 when they had been crushed 4-1 by Wolves and 6-1 by Spurs, they hit back to beat Liverpool 1-0.

Let’s hope for a repeat of that on September 20.

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