MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - Struggling West Ham United were “gutted” by their 2-1 defeat at Manchester City but showed “the right effort and attitude”, manager David Moyes said as their battle against relegation from the Premier League intensified on Sunday.
The Hammers have won twice in the league all season and sit second-bottom -- three points behind West Bromwich Albion who are just above the relegation zone -- with a real battle on their hands to maintain their top-flight status.
They appeared to be on course for an encouraging point until David Silva’s 83rd-minute goal completed City’s comeback after Nicolas Otamendi had cancelled out Angelo Ogbonna’s opener.
Having conceded 32 goals in the league this season, West Ham have the division’s most porous defence, while goals have also been hard to come by -- with their 13 being better than only four other teams.
They have not won in the league since September, and sit one point above bottom club Swansea.
Moyes’ side showed plenty of fight and character in the face of City’s onslaught, and went close to a late equaliser, but with home games against champions Chelsea and Arsenal up next, their battle against relegation does not get any easier.
“We are gutted we lost but we played against a really good side and I thought for long periods we frustrated them - arguably we had the best chances in the first half,” Moyes told the BBC after the defeat at City.
”For long periods I thought it was going to be our day. We didn’t limit them with possession but with clear-cut chances we did, and I thought we were always a threat on the break - arguably we had the best chances in the first half.
“The effort and the attitude has been really good - it had to be today. So I‘m ultimately disappointed not to take something from the game, but I‘m really pleased with the players.”
Moyes recalled goalkeeper Adrian in place of on-loan Joe Hart who was ineligible to play against his parent club, and the Spaniard was superb.
“At the end of the day, it is a defeat, we don’t get any points, so I cannot be happy, zero,” Adrian told Sky Sports.
”But we troubled them, we defended well and played well on the counter attack, we had great chances to go 2-2 at the end but they are top players.
“Personally, this is my fifth season at West Ham. I do my best every time I play. I hope I have more chances to play from now. The competition (for places) is great, so for the manager the next game we don’t know.”
Reporting by Tom Hayward in London; Editing by Ken Ferris