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McClaren on... West Ham United

Filed: Sunday, 28th August 2011
By: Staff Writer

A down-in-the-dumps Steve McClaren blamed a lack of quality in his squad for today's one-sided affair at the City Ground...

Steve: As Nottingham Forest manager, does that give you plenty to think about?

Think about? Yeah. I said after five games we'll know a lot about our team and today was a real test, I thought. We said it doesn't matter what you do in the middle, it doesn't matter about possession, it's how you defend one box and attack the other box. In both boxes today we failed.

We played football, we created chances, we were on the front foot. But every time the ball went in our box we gave them goals. At half time I said 'I couldn't believe it was 3-0'. So keep playing, keep playing. But if you can't defend your own box then in this game you've got nothing, it's all about clean sheets. So we've a lot of work to do to even start.

Three goals from corners and an own goal; where does defending like that come from?

I don't know, it's a good question. We'll look at it and analyse that; we've got a lot to learn. We said that we'd know a lot more, there's three days left in the transfer window and loans we can do after that. But we're nothing without keeping clean sheets and defending well. Today in our own box from set plays, from crosses, from balls over the top, we defended very poorly.

As a new manager with new ideas is it inevitable that the team might take a few steps backwards before you start to move forwards?

Yeah, I think it was a huge one today. Though our football has developed - and if you'd seen our earlier games we're a lot better now. But as I said - fundamental mistakes; we gave them three goals and if you defend like that you don't deserve to win football matches. That's where it starts, a platform; we didn't have a platform. West Ham were stronger than us and better than us in both boxes.

In the transfer market, what do you need to turn this around?

[laughs] Good question! We can't overreact after today. We knew, pretty much, before - we now know even more. We've got a lot of evidence in our first five games and yes, we've lost two out of seven. We haven't scored enough goals - you saw that today - and we haven't kept clean sheets enough. That is a recipe for middle-of-the-table. So we need to address quite a few things internally and externally before we move on from this.

* Steve McClaren was talking to Sky Sports

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