December 13 2013 Latest news:
Dave Evans, West Ham Correspondent
Monday, September 23, 2013
Hammers defender Joey O’Brien is looking for the team to bounce back at Hull City on Saturday
West Ham defender Joey O’Brien had six stitches in a head wound and no points to show for his sterling effort in the 3-2 defeat by Everton at Upton Park on Saturday.
The injury came at the precise moment that Toffees striker Romelu Lukaku had completed the comeback and headed in the winner for the Merseysiders, but after the game it was the loss of all three points that hurt most for the Ireland international full back.
“It was very disappointing,” said the 27-year-old after the match. “I don’t think we created an awful lot of chances, but I thought in the first half we were the better side.
“Second half they improved their team with a couple of changes, but to get done by two free kicks and losing a player to a red card in the build-up to the second is always going to make it hard with the players that have and that led to the third.”
It was a neat summing up of a game that West Ham never dominated, but did look like winning until two flashes of brilliance, a trait of the teams in the higher echelons of the Premier League, manifested themselves in the shape of Baines and Lukaku.
The Everton full backs free kicks were sublime, but giving away two golden chances for a dead ball specialist is becoming a worrying trait for the Hammers this season.
“Of course, in an ideal world not conceding free kicks like that would be the thing to do, but in the heat of the moment when players are going through, you have to make a decision and if they think that they are going to get a shot away, that is the reason they are trying to make those tackles,” explained O’Brien.
“When the ball flies into the top corner though, it is hard to take. But we have to be disappointed as we have conceded two free kicks against Everton as well as the winner against Stoke City.
“We have conceded four goals this season and three of those have been from free kicks – it’s just one of those things at the moment.”
Perhaps the two most significant moments of the game were the arrival of substitute Lukaku and the sending off of Mark Noble, but O’Brien felt it was the latter that was to prove crucial.
“I think when Lukaku first came on, he might have done a couple of little things, but I thought that our two centre halves coped with him really well,” said the defender. “But after the red card they had the momentum with their two free kicks and in front of their own crowd as well.
“The way they play, with a lot of possession, certainly frustrates you and with only 10 men it makes it even more difficult.”
Once again O’Brien is playing a vital role in the West Ham team, this week moving from left back to right back to fill in for the injured Guy Demel and managing it with aplomb.
“I had been training there all week as I knew it was coming after the injury to Guy (Demel),” revealed the versatile defender. “It was grand and though there are perhaps always a couple of moments in games where I am slightly out of position, I am trying to get back into the swing of things on the right.”
Head would or not, O’Brien is likely to be back in claret and blue on Saturday for what looks an important game against Hull City at the KC Stadium.
“It is a massive game and we will be going up there to get all three points,” he insisted.
Michael Dawson is looking forward to facing Arsenal after Tottenham were drawn against the Gunners in the third round of the FA Cup.