Sport Soccer

Sunday 19 August 2018

West Ham boss David Moyes denies off-field issues affected Brighton result

A turbulent week at the east London club ended with a 3-1 defeat on the south coast.

Brighton and Hove Albion v West Ham United – Premier League – AMEX Stadium
Brighton and Hove Albion v West Ham United – Premier League – AMEX Stadium

By Andy Sims, Press Association Sport

David Moyes refused to blame West Ham’s off-field turmoil for their surrender at Brighton.

A turbulent week at the east London club ended with a 3-1 defeat on the south coast to plunge them back into the relegation mix.

The Hammers had to sack their head of recruitment Tony Henry on Friday after claims he told agents they did not want to sign any more African players.

That scandal, as well as an underwhelming transfer window which saw a club linked with Olivier Giroud, Michy Batshuayi and Daniel Sturridge end up with Jordan Hugill from Preston, has left anger and frustration towards the West Ham board from supporters at an all-time high.

Indeed, the first chants of ‘sack the board’ were belted out from the away end even before Glenn Murray put Brighton ahead in only the eighth minute, and only got louder as the damaging defeat unfolded.

But Hammers boss Moyes said: “It had no effect whatsoever. The club have done what they think they have to do and move on, and we have to.

“It’s always the manager’s job but I don’t think the events would do that.

“When I took over we were in the bottom three so to be where we are now I’d have said ‘thanks very much’.

“We are still in a battle to stay up but it’s the same for the other teams.”

Moyes has also had to deal with a spate of injuries, and indiscipline – Arthur Masuaku is still serving a lengthy ban for spitting and Michail Antonio was dropped in midweek for being late to a meeting.

“Maybe that’s just West Ham, I don’t know,” he added. “In management no day is ever dull. The job brings up some difficult situations and some strange ones.”

A through-ball from Pascal Gross sent Murray clear to open the scoring, although West Ham made it in level at half-time thanks to a fine strike from Javier Hernandez.

However, Jose Izqueirdo put Brighton ahead again with a stunning curler from the corner of the area, and Gross killed off any hopes of another revival with 15 minutes remaining.

Brighton have now taken six points – and scored six of the 21 goals they have managed this season – against West Ham.

A second win in 14 matches lifted the Seagulls to 13th, level on points with Moyes’ men.

Manager Chris Hughton said: “We were disappointed to come in at 1-1, we knew we had to raise our game again and the second half was close to being as good as we’ve been this season.

“Sometimes these games take a special goal and the second goal not only gave us the lead, it lifted the stadium, and it lifted the lads on to a very good performance.”

Both managers were unaware of an incident at half-time in the tunnel when West Ham’s Aaron Cresswell and Brighton’s Anthony Knockaert apparently had to be separated.

Press Association

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