David Moyes was heartened by how his West Ham United team responded to going behind at a moment in which the home crowd and players were energising because he is a manager who understands the power of the Goodison Park crowd better than anybody.
The Scotsman, who managed the Blues for nearly 11 years between 2002 and 2013, said: “I believed as though it was the only period in which we were going to get any xGs (expected goals) at all. Everton’s first win of the season put the Hammers in the bottom three. Our offensive strategy during the first half was “huff” (sighing noise). I don’t know how many passes we gave away but I’ll tell you what, it was as high as I’ve sort of known it.
“I believed that after giving up the goal, we had our best play after that, and we then perhaps had our greatest moments in the game. In the final 15-20 minutes, I believe we had the best opportunity of scoring if anyone was going to score. We also sometimes opened up and gave Everton a little window to counter-attack.
Both teams entered the game with four points, and Moyes—whose team was eliminated by Everton’s opening goal by Neal Maupay—thought a draw would have been a fair outcome.
He said: “It was a close game; did we deserve to win, no; didn’t we deserve to lose, probably not either. We didn’t play well, and I’ve got to admit I don’t believe Everton played well either. They seized an excellent opportunity, whereas we missed two or three equally good ones in the end.
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“Over the last two seasons, we’ve won two games here by razor-thin margins, and we also won by a similar margin at the London Stadium, so there was always a potential that this match would be similarly tight, and it was. Although the game was tight, I don’t believe there was much to it.
“I don’t believe we performed well, I don’t want to talk about Everton, and we only improved after they scored the goal,” said the player. Before that, we were simply routine and content to, I wouldn’t say go through the motions, but to do what was necessary to continue playing at the moment.
Moyes made six alterations to the lineup that beat Silkeborg 3-2 in the Europa Conference League on Thursday, but he wouldn’t attribute the loss to a hangover from the continent. When asked if juggling European rivalry with home fare was challenging, Moyes responded, “I want to give you a genuine response so yeah, but I want to be in Europe all the time.