David Moyes was left ‘annoyed’ by his West Ham players failing to set their team-mates up for goals during the narrow 3-2 victory over Silkeborg.
The Irons picked up three points away from home in the Europa Conference League group stage, but they didn’t make it easy for themselves. They went behind just five minutes in when Kasper Kusk finished off a nice Silkeborg move by firing into the bottom corner first time.
West Ham had a great chance to go level when Maxwel Cornet drew a foul in the box, winning a penalty. And Manuel Lanzini made no mistake with the spot-kick, despite slipping at the crucial moment.
Gianluca Scamacca fired West Ham in front in the 25th minute, before Craig Dawson marked his return to the starting eleven with a headed goal 13 minutes later.
However, it was a nervy second half as Moyes’ side caused themselves problems and gave Silkeborg chances to get back into the match.
The Denmark outfit got a second goal in the 75th minute when Soren Tengstedt finished from inside the box after an Alphonse Areola save.
Silkeborg pressed for an equaliser but couldn’t quite manage it, as West Ham took home all three points.
However, Moyes was not impressed with the overall performance and criticised his team for not passing to each other at the crucial moments – instead showing selfishness.
David Moyes unimpressed despite West Ham victory
“There were bits and pieces I liked and bits and pieces I didn’t,” the Scot said during an interview with BT Sport (via BBC Sport).
“Their style is very good. We were aware of that. We tried our best to stop it and we did for long periods. There were other parts where they played really well.
“At 3-1 it should have been comfortable. We had chances to make it four or five. They were always going to make it nervy [when they scored].
“We started making poor decisions. We had chances to slip each other in for goals which I’m annoyed about. It’s important to try to make goals.
“But we did the job and got it done. We’ve come away from home and won. Wining in Europe comfortably isn’t easy.”
David Moyes also spoke about summer arrival Scamacca, and then fellow new signing Lucas Paqueta.
“We are beginning to see a bit of it [Scamacca’s ability]. I was a bit disappointed with some of his early performance but he grew into the game. We’re still getting him used to it.
“We’re beginning to feel stronger. Getting the new players integrated, finding out more about them. We saw what Lucas Paqueta can do. He’s still not quite used to us.”
West Ham skipper Declan Rice told BT Sport after the match: “We could have been in control. It’s game management. We’ve got to keep the ball and keep it moving.
“We looked fluid after the first goal. We moved the ball well, played between the lines and moved them round. It’s disappointing to concede the two goals. The manager won’t be happy. We know they’re not good goals to concede.
“The main thing is we came here on the artificial grass – which we knew would be tough – and won.”
On the pitch, Rice added: “It was tough. Difficult. Really slippy. We’re not used to it. The ball moves really quick on it. We have to adapt and play on any surface. The main thing is we won and got the job done.
Declan Rice praises team-mate Dawson
“I’m happy for Craig Dawson. He has had a tough couple of months. I’m delighted he’s with us. The fans love him.
“We did well last year in the Europa League and went quick out of the group – We want to do that here. We want to close the group as quickly as possible.
“You can see we’re starting to click as a team.”
During a post-match interview with BT Sport, Dawson said: “They made it difficult towards the end. The performance wasn’t great. It’s a difficult pitch to play on, it was a bit scrappy and sloppy but we got the three points.
“They’re a good side and play great football. They know the pitch better than us. At times we were sloppy but we got the job done.
“It’s different [the pitch]. I wouldn’t like to do it each week.
“It’s great to be back [from injury]. It’s been a while.”
When asked about his goal, the centre-back added: “They all count. A great ball from Cresswell as always.”
On the club’s pursuit of European glory, he said: “We’ve got a lot more experience this year. We’ll carry on, enjoy it and see where it takes us.”