Slaven Bilic has urged West Ham to ensure Saturday’s poor showing at Watford is a “one off” after admitting his side were completely outplayed in the 2-0 defeat.
West Ham saw their unbeaten away record in the Premier League come to a grinding halt at Vicarage Road with Odion Ighalo’s sixth and seventh goals of the season helping Watford seal back-to-back wins.
The visitors failed to produce the sort of performances that earned wins at Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City on the road this season, while an impressive 2-1 victory over Chelsea last week saw them enter Saturday’s clash in third place.
And Bilic – who saw West Ham finish with 10 men thanks to James Collins’ red card – had no complaints with the final result saying: “We were outplayed and they totally deserved it.
“They showed respect to us for 10 minutes but when they realised we weren’t playing forward and were instead moving from side to side they pressed us and totally deserved it even if the goals were mistakes.
“We have to start with the same anger the boys were feeling in the dressing room after the game. We have to make this a one off.
“Of course I am disappointed because of the way we played and the way we lost the game. We didn’t play a proper grown up serious way.
“We were not good enough for the whole game apart from the first 10 minutes. I’m not worried. I spoke about keeping us on the ground.
“This is the Premier League and we paid the price. We must learn the lesson and we must keep on our toes and not let it happen often.”
West Ham’s miserable afternoon was made worse by Collins’ late dismissal for a crude challenge through the back of Ighalo, but Bilic felt referee Keith Stroud could have shown more leniency.
“For me, I think it wasn’t a red card. The ref can easily justify the red but considering the game situation [he could have been more lenient] and it was not nasty,” he added.
“It was a clumsy challenge but it was not intentional to hurt the player. Maybe he did not need to show the red. He may be frustrated but Ginge [Collins] did not intend to hurt their player.
“We are not happy because he is going to miss now a minimum of three games for that kind of foul. It’s too much basically that’s why I think that the ref didn’t have to give him a red for that.”