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Hammers have to work hard to take points says defender Diop ahead of Liverpool trip

PUBLISHED: 11:30 21 February 2020

West Ham United's Pablo Zabaleta (left) and Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus battle for the ball during the Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester.

West Ham United's Pablo Zabaleta (left) and Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus battle for the ball during the Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester.

PA Wire/PA Images

Relegation-threatened West Ham head to Anfield to face an almost thankless task against Premier League champions-elect Liverpool on Monday.

West Ham United's Ryan Fredericks (centre) leaves the field with an injury during the Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester.West Ham United's Ryan Fredericks (centre) leaves the field with an injury during the Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester.

A 2-0 loss at defending champions Manchester City in midweek left them in the bottom three with 12 matches to go and there will be long odds on them upsetting Jurgen Klopps' runaway leaders.

But defender Issa Diop feels the side showed enough battling qualities during a disciplined display at the Etihad Stadium to give them hope of pulling off a Great Escape.

"Of course it's disappointing to lose. When you lose, it always is," Diop told whufc.com.

"It's like this, the match is over now, so we are all eyes on the Liverpool game now.

"Our position in the table (is not good), but we have to work hard to take points - that's the only solution.

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"We were up against a good team on Wednesday and didn't do the good things to take points."

City took the lead on 30 minutes as Rodri headed home from a Kevin de Bruyne corner, but West Ham lost the services of Ryan Fredericks due to a shoulder injury suffered in a fall after a challenge with the goalscorer.

That enabled Pablo Zabaleta a cameo appearance against his former club and could mean more minutes in the coming weeks for the veteran Argentinian, with Diop adding: "It's bad for Ryan to suffer an injury. He'll have some scans and we'll show how he is."

Young full-back Jeremy Ngakia was given a surprise debut by manager David Moyes when West Ham welcomed Liverpool to the London Stadium just over three weeks ago and impressed.

It was a similar story as West Ham held out for the first half hour, before goals either side of the interval from Mohamed Salah and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain sent them to a 2-0 defeat.

They now lie 49 points behind the leaders, but one adrift of Aston Villa and safety and Moyes added: "There will be games coming up when we have the chance to play differently, but obviously we're in a period of a couple of tough games.

"I'm confident. These games are always going to be difficult for us but getting a good structure, especially defensively, because if you don't concede any goals you always will pick up points.

"We have to take that, try to improve our football, because we've got some good games coming up at home."


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