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Moyes 'gutted' by narrow defeat

Filed: Sunday, 3rd December 2017
By: Staff Writer

Hammers boss David Moyes' winless run extended to four games at the Etihad Stadium this afternoon - but he revealed that he was pleased with his team's contribution.

Moyes is yet to taste victory since replacing Slaven Bilic last month, but like mnay fans took heart from today's narrow defeat, in which the Hammers were just seven minutes away from being the first team to avoid defeat in the Premier League this season.

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"We're gutted that we lost," he said during his post-match interview. "We played against a really good side, everybody knows that, and I thought for long periods we frustrated them.

"Arguably we had the best chances in the first half. Adrian had a few really good saves to make, but mainly from distance. Ultimately we're disappointed not to take something from the game, but I'm really pleased with the performance from the players."

Key to the result, according to Moyes was the amount of possession City enjoyed during the game - some 77 per cent over the course of the 90 minutes.

"Eventually Manchester City will force you back and you'll need all your players back," he added. "We weren't quite good enough at keeping the ball which would have meant we could have played slightly differently.

"But I've got to say that the defensive side of it was good. We kept defending well when we had to.

"I've seen a lot of Manchester City over the last year or so and they've improved all the time - and it's not just one player, they have so many players who can cause you problems. I thought in the main today our players did really well."

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And two players who came in for special praise from the manager were reserve goalkeeper Adrian - who did his first team claims no harm at all - and Academy defender Declan Rice, who played yet another 90 minutes with Jose Fonte, James Collins and Winston Reid either injured or less than fully fit.

"I thought Adrian made [some good] saves," said Moyes. "If you're going to play Man City you need a good goalkeeper. I think whatever team it is you're always going to have to deal with things against them and Adrian played really well today.

"I think we should have done much better with the cross for the second goal. I'd hope that if you had a centre half in the position it was in that you would deal with that and stop the ball going through, or head it away. I think the ball was probably about 30 yards out when he made the pass.

"So I'm disappointed we lost the goal, but you've got to remember we're playing a young, 18-year-old centre half who did really well today - and if there was ever going to be a test for him, it would be this game today."

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