David Moyes believes West Ham made hard work of their opening Europa League test against Serbian outfit Backa Topola.The Hammers trailed to a shock early second half goal before recovering to win by three goals to one, with Mo Kudus scoring his first goal for the club on his competitive debut.
Yet even though the Hammers managed to find the net on three occasions in the space of 16 second half minutes to win the match, the manager was distrinctly unhappy with some of his team's finishing.
"We should have made the game much easier with the score and the way it went, but ultimately we won the game," he said, speaking to the media after the game.
"We’ve got quite a good record in Europe and it’s been a while since we lost [in European competition], so that’s another one to add to the victories.
"I thought we played quite well with the ball at times, especially in the opening 20 or 30 minutes, but we didn’t really threaten enough or create enough opportunities. We had one or two chances and if we’d scored early on it might have changed the game, but unfortunately it took for us to give away a goal to get the victory.
"We gave away a really, really poor goal which meant we had to chase the game and we did and we found a way in the end," he continued. "We hadn’t created enough chances, but in the end we got three goals and we’ve been scoring goals in recent weeks. In truth, we should have scored a whole lot more.
"Let’s be fair, we should have scored three more from James’s corner kicks tonight, but we missed a couple and didn’t quite get it. But if we can have that and we have got people who can score headers and want to head the ball in the box, it will give us a great chance of scoring."
There was also a special word from the boss for his two debutants, Greek defender Konstantinos Mavropanos and Ghaniain winger Mo Kudus, who marked his debut by scoring West Ham's second goal.
"I’m pleased for both Mo and Dinos," said Moyes. "Mo started the game really well, the team was playing well in the opening 20 minutes. He faded away, but in the end he came up with one and maybe two goals so I’m really, really pleased for him.
"He’s made a good start, we like him a lot and we’ll edge him in when we get the opportunities in the right moments to do so. I’m pleased because we needed someone to come up with goals tonight and he was the one who did it."
The win means West Ham remain unbeaten in Europe since May 2022, some 16 months ago, when they went down 1-0 to Eintracht Frankfurt in the second leg of the 2021/22 competition's semi final.
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