Premier League English

Moyes happy with team’s resilience as Hammers remain unbeaten 

David Moyes frankly conceded that his West Ham side were way below their usual best against Brighton but was still happy to get something from the match nonetheless.

Both the Europe-chasing sides produced a drab performance to force a goalless draw at the London Olympic Stadium, with this being West Ham’s first stalemate in the Premier League since a 0-0 draw in September 2018 against Chelsea.

Nonetheless Moyes was still nursing smiles given that his team had already secured a win over Albion in their own backward earlier in the season.

“If you said to me at the start of the season that we’d take four points against our bogey team, I’d have taken that all day long,” he admitted. “You want to perform better with the ball and play better, but we defended really well again. We were resilient with what we had, which is a big part of football.”

Moyes complimented his makeshift defence – featuring three reserves in Angelo Ogbonna, Konstantinos Mavrapanos and Ben Johnson – and praised them especially for helping his team keep four consecutive clean sheets while taking 10 points out of a possible 12 during the Christmas period.

“The defensive boys played brilliantly. They really did,” he insisted. “They did brilliantly well. “We’ve had a lot of these boys playing in the UEFA Europa League, so most of them should have had a bit of [game] time and be ready. Most of them showed it.

“Players like Pablo Fornals, Dinos Mavropanos, Saïd Benrahma, Angelo Ogbonna and Ben Johnson have not played as much as others and we had to make a few changes tonight. Against a good Brighton team – who had to make changes as well – I think it was a good result.

“I thought we played better in the first half with the ball than we did in the second half. We turned it over three or four times at the start of the second half and we weren’t having the ball. We were then nearly playing on scraps and counter-attacking, which wasn’t overly nice to watch, but it was a good point to get.

“It’s been a brilliant festive period. We’ve had a really good Christmas,” he continued.

“For us to win three and draw one game, it’s good for us. We’re always looking to judge it on the performances and I didn’t really enjoy this one, but we got what I think was a hugely important result for us against one of the top teams in the country.

Moyes was happy the easing of the fixture congestion over the coming weeks with the Hammers scheduled to play only two more games in January. “It’s been a fair programme for this time of year for what it could be, but our programme before that wasn’t overly fair,” he said.

“You could argue about fairness in terms of not being able to play Mohammed Kudus or Nayef Aguerd tonight while other teams could play their African players. But the players have been able to have a day or two off here or there, which has been benefited them.

“And it looks like we might be able to have a bit of a break with the week we’ve got coming up. The players deserve it for the really good first half of a season they’ve had.”