David Moyes has said despite his best effort to get his West Ham players back to their early season levels, the individuals need to take responsibility and improve their own game.
The Hammers began their season with just two defeats in 17 matches across all competitions, including knocking out Manchester City and Manchester United of the Carabao Cup and league victories over Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur.
For much of this season, Moyes’ side has sat in the top-four. However, Manchester United’s midweek win over Burnley saw the Hammers slip to fifth place. After more dropped points over the weekend for West Ham, combined with wins for all their Champions League rivals, pressure is increasing on the Hammers European chances.
The three teams immediately below Moyes side in the table in Arsenal, Wolves and Spurs all have games in hand on the Hammers, three each for the north London clubs and two for Bruno Lage’s team.
However, it was not the result that most disappointed Moyes on Saturday but the level of performance from his side.
“I think it was one of our poorer performances,” he said.
The manager added to WHUTV: “I’m more miffed that we haven’t played well again.”
Moyes does not believe tiredness is to blame for the Hammers recent displays but his team not performing the basics well enough.
“No, I don’t,” the manager replied when asked if he thought fatigue was a factor. “I see the physical data and see what the players are doing. But sometimes not just the data tells you but the eye sometimes tells you the players aren’t sharp, as fast or committed.
“The data would disprove that but we’ve not looked as on the front foot around the ball. We lost an awful lot of first and second balls, the basic things in football. A lot of simple things.”
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The Scot is determined to get his payers back to their best but has put the pressure on the squad to improve their own form.
“I don’t think it was energy or anything like that as we had a week this week to build and prepare and we had a good week’s training. The squad is tight and has been for a year or two and we have done not bad so that is not a reason why we have not done so well,” he said.
“Ultimately it is a part of where we are some players’ levels need to improve, I am trying to get them back up there but they need to improve their levels and their form.”