West Ham Cresswell: Missed chances cost us most, not another Lukaku goal
PUBLISHED: 13:00 02 November 2016
PA Archive/PA Images
Hammers defender Aaron Cresswell says he is improving his fitness with each game
It was all going so well. West Ham had controlled most of the first half at Goodison Park and had kept that man Romelu Lukaku relatively quiet.
But as the Toffees started to make things sticky at the start of the second half, it was Lukaku who took advantage to nod in the opening goal and make it nine goals in nine games against West Ham for him.
Defender Aaron Cresswell could only shake his head in disbelief.
“He is a tough one to cope with,” said the 26-year-old Scouser back on Merseyside. “He is one of the best strikers in the world at the minute and he showed it again.”
He did, though his granny could have scored the chance he put away. But for Cresswell the game wasn’t about Lukaku scoring, it was about things at the other end.
“I thought in the first half we were excellent,” he said. “It was just a shame that we didn’t take one of our chances.
“We went in at 0-0 and to be fair to them they came out all guns blazing in the second half and got the goal and from then on we were always chasing the game.”
He was right. West Ham needed to score when they were in control in that first half.
Dimitri Payet set up Pedro Obiang for a good chance; Michail Antonio almost connected with a Payet cross; Manuel Lanzini shot across the face of goal and Payet himself had two chances to give the Hammers a deserved lead.
It didn’t happen and Everton took full advantage as West Ham ran out of steam, though Cresswell insisted it was not down to their League Cup exertions against Chelsea in midweek.
He said: “I don’t think that made a difference. I think the boys felt okay and we had more than enough time to recover so we are not going to use that as an excuse.
“I think it was more down to us not taking our chances in that first half, but we go again.”
It is certainly great to have the former Hammer of the Year back in the team after his injury, so how is he feeling and what about that new role as a wing-back?
“I have had some help from the fitness coach and the physio and I am feeling better than Wednesday night,” he added.
“It takes time to get back to full fitness. You can do all the training in the world, but it’s not like playing games. Hopefully I can get back up to speed, the knee feels good and I am looking forward to the next few games.
“I am enjoying playing wing-back. I like getting forward and the position helps me to do that, create things and get some crosses into the box.”
It does and he will hopefully be doing the same against Stoke City on Saturday.
So, just how important is it to get a win against the Potters?
“I don’t think it is a must-win game, I don’t know why people would say that,” he said.
“Of course we want to win, but I think we have had some good results of late, so we are going to dust ourselves off after this one and look forward to Stoke.”
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