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Hughton on... West Ham United

Filed: Wednesday, 12th February 2014
By: Staff Writer

Chris Hughton felt defeat against a "direct" West Ham was harsh on his team. Here's his post-match press conference, in full...

Chris: Are you wondering how you lost that?

Yes. At the moment I'm very frustrated because you know when you come here you're going to be up against a very direct and physical game and you have to be able to match them. For nearly all of the game we were able to do that but you'r reliant on giving your self a little bit of a release and you can only give yourself that little bit of release by scoring goals.

I don't think there'd be anybody watching the game tonuight that would have felt we didn't attempt to get in the good areas and didn't create chances, but it's been a little bit too familiair this, where our level of performance has been good, we've been creating chances but not putting them away. Of course, that being the case you put more pressure on yourself.

We haven't done well on their first goal; it's a ball that we dealt with all game, very well, but on that one occasion we didn't. But that's what happens when you haven't got a lead that you think you deserve, you always put yourself under that little bit of pressure. So at the moment, I'm very frustrated.

You had a tough game against Manchester City on Saturday. Was tiredness a factor?

No, there's nothing wrong with the energy levels. If you saw the perfromance and analysed the performance you're up against a very strong, physical West Ham team that play the way that they do and you've got to be able to match that. And as I said, I thought we matched that for the whole of the game apart from those pinnacle moments.

The second goal, I think at that stage the players are so desperate to get back [on level terms] and so frustrated that we're behind in a game that we shouldn't be that they've gone for it in that last few minutes. But it's the first goal that hurts us and the missed chances.

Were you disappointed with John [Ruddy] for the goal? Just before that he made an unbelievable save from Diame.

I'm never one directly after a game to apportion blame but it's the type of ball that we dealt with very well all game and when you're playing against West Ham you know you're going to have to deal with an awful lot fo them. And we did, I felt that we dealt with them very well. They had some chances but I thought they had minimal chances; the better chances fell to us, there's no doubt about that. So at the moment I'm just very frustrated because it's a game we shouldn't have lost.

Do you put those missed chances down to poor finishing by your players?

No. The 'keeper's made some good saves and unfortunately on our last two away games it's both 'keeper's that have ended up putting in Man of the Match peformances. So I think that shows we are creating chances but we've got to look at ourselves as if we're creating that amount of chances, we've got to be scoring goals.

Will it be difficult to pick them up again? As you say, they've done everything but win the game?

No, because we have to. We've got a very tough game on Sunday week, there's no game at the weekend so the lads will have a little bit of rest and recovery and we need to pull the bones out of the game. For anybody watching the game I thought there was so much good about our performance. The only thing that wasn't good was the result.

Is there a reason that you didn't make a change until 75 minutes?

Because I felt we were coping very well. We are the team that's away from home, we're up against a very direct side. Shortly before we'd had a couple of half chances not too long before I made the substitutions so no, I just felt that at that stage we were coping very well.

How important is it in the next four or five games to put yourself in a good place for the final stage of the season?

It's vitally important, it's very tight down there as it was at this stage last season. We certainly have the experience for what we went though last season and managed to finish in a very good position. So it's going to take a lot of battling qualities, we're going to play a lot of the teams that are around us.

That's probably added to the frustration; West Ham are a team that are around us in the division and tonight was an opportunity for us firstly to get points ourselves, and secondly to deny West Ham getting points.


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