(Reuters) - West Ham United would be “stupid” not to plug holes in their defence as they bid to start their season afresh following the departure of Slaven Bilic, new manager David Moyes has said.
The Hammers, who fired the Croat and replaced him with Moyes last week, have conceded 23 goals in 11 games, giving them the worst defensive record in the league.
Ahead of his first game in charge at Watford on Sunday, the Scot suggested that although he would not curb West Ham’s attacking instincts, his priority was to get his players to work harder for each other and the team.
“We would be stupid if we didn’t look back,” the Scot told the club’s website. “We’ve looked at the goals we’ve conceded and we have got the worst defensive record in the league. We’ve got to try and find a way of stopping that.
“We don’t want to stop the attacking play because we’ve got good attacking players. But we can’t get away with not running back. We can’t get away with not doing the jobs we’ve got to do.
“Ultimately, they’ve got to be a bit more humble for each other, work for the team, and score goals together and defend together... We must start from scratch and give the players a chance to start again.”
Moyes also hopes to inspire West Ham to more wins than his critics have forecast under him and ensure the club are nowhere near the relegation battle by to the end of the season.
“I can only do that by getting the players onside and making sure they are doing the right things,” he added. “They’re telling me they want to work hard, be organised and disciplined. I hope once I’ve done that, they won’t be complaining.”
West Ham are 18th in the standings following just two wins in 11 games, while Marco Silva’s Watford are ninth after a steady start to the campaign.
Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru