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West Ham defender: We are not worried by bad start

PUBLISHED: 10:36 21 August 2017 | UPDATED: 11:41 21 August 2017

West Ham United's Angelo Ogbonna (pic: Rob Newell)

West Ham United's Angelo Ogbonna (pic: Rob Newell)

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Hammers Ogbonna insists last-minute decision was never a penalty

West Ham United defender Angelo Ogbonna challenges Manolo Gabbiadini for the ball (pic: Rob Newel) West Ham United defender Angelo Ogbonna challenges Manolo Gabbiadini for the ball (pic: Rob Newel)

Two games gone, bottom of the Premier League and seven goals conceded, so is defender Angelo Ogbonna worried about the West Ham start to the campaign?

He shakes his head: “No, this is the Premier League,” he says. “Everyone is scared because we conceded four to Man United, but they just did the same to Swansea City.

“There are a lot of positive things to come out of this game. I thought we played better than them definitely and we were also down by one man.”

He was right. The Hammers played much better after Marko Arnautovic was red-carded and despite decisions going against them, they performed superbly to level the match.

Angelo Ogbonna celebrates Javier Hernandez' goal with his West Ham United team mates (pic: Rob Newell) Angelo Ogbonna celebrates Javier Hernandez' goal with his West Ham United team mates (pic: Rob Newell)

Then came that injury time decision from referee Lee Mason awarding Southampton their second penalty of the match.

“I don’t think it was a penalty,” said the 29-year-old Italy international defender. “The game now is so fast, but that was harsh for me. It is so frustrating and that is two penalties against us in one game – the first one was harsh as well.”

Ogbonna shouldn’t even have been starting this game, but when Winston Reid was injured in the warm-up he was drafted back into the team.

So was it hard to adjust? He smiles and shakes his head.

West Ham United defender Angelo Ogbonna tries to clear his lines (pic: Rob Newell) West Ham United defender Angelo Ogbonna tries to clear his lines (pic: Rob Newell)

“It wasn’t hard for me because everyone was concentrating on the game,” he said. “We all wanted to do better than last week and the manager never says the team until close to the start anyway, so it is up to us to stay concentrating on the game and to do our best.”

It was certainly an exciting game for the neutral and Ogbonna felt the team had done well, despite going down 3-2 in the end.

“We showed our character out there,” he insisted. “We wanted to do better than last week at Man U and we said we cannot give up this game and we have to show that we are not lazy on the pitch.

“We wanted to show that this is a new season, but at the end, we just thought ‘oh my God’ we didn’t expect that. We are all human beings and we make mistakes, but we thought it was not a penalty.”

He continued: “At the end it was so disappointing, but I am also very proud because we played really good with 10 men.

“I can blame the ref, but we gave everything and next week we can go and win at Newcastle.”

He walks off smiling. He isn’t worried at the moment anyway, even if the fans are.

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