Manuel Pellegrini says he is ‘disappointed’ with his side’s performance in the 4-0 defeat at Anfield earlier this afternoon, and insists they must in the final third if they are to have a successful season.
Pellegrini, who was taking charge of his first competitive game as West Ham boss, watched on helplessly from the sidelines at Anfield as Liverpool despatched his side with ease thanks to goals from Mohamed Salah and Daniel Sturridge either side of a Sadio Mane brace.
The defeat was the second season in a row the Hammers have suffered a 4-0 defeat on the opening day having lost by the same scoreline to Manchester United last year, and Pellegrini says he is frustrated to see his side fall by such a heavy margin.
“We knew before the game that it was going to be a tough start. Liverpool are a solid team, with good players,” he said.
“I recognise that Liverpool were the better team today, but when the score was 1-0, we had two or three opportunities to level, but in the last seconds of the first half they score and at the end of a half where it could have been 1-1, it was 2-0.
“The second goal was a blow psychologically for us, as it’s such a difference to come in at half-time 1-0 down instead of 2-0.
“Then at the start of the second half it’s a clear offside goal and that decides it [at 3-0], but I must be clear we need to improve, Liverpool played better than us and deserved the win.”
— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) August 12, 2018
Despite the result however, Pellegrini says he remains positive for the rest of the season.
West Ham made nine new signings in the summer, five of which started the game today at Anfield, and the Argentine boss admits it take time for the group to gel.
“Of course we are positive for the season ahead,” he said, “This is the first game of the season, we have nine new players and we played one of the best teams in the Premier League.
“We are not happy, of course, when you lose 4-0, but we are sure we are going the correct way.
“We need to work during the week and try to win the three points in our first game at home. We need to see the good things we did and improve, especially when we attack.”