West Ham boss David Moyes feels his side can produce more quality in front of goal to make a difference – even though there is not much time to work on the finishing touches over a hectic December schedule.
The Irons host Brighton on Wednesday night looking to stop a run of successive Premier League defeats after they were beaten 2-1 at Manchester City on Sunday.
West Ham created some decent openings at a snowy Etihad Stadium but did not make the most of them, with only a spectacular stoppage-time consolation from Manuel Lanzini to show for their efforts.
Afterwards, Moyes admitted the team needed to be sharper in the final third and “much cleaner with our chances”.
It is something the Scot feels can be rectified on the training pitch – if the coaching staff can find the time as the fixtures come thick and fast.
“They have to show more quality at different times, whether that be the finishing, the ‘one v ones’ or choosing the right pass at the right moment,” said Moyes.
“Some of the counter-attack last year was devastating with the speed of it, but this year we are not having quite as many of those opportunities. Teams are maybe a little bit more wary.
“It is not a case of just getting it (the ball) in there, putting it in the mixer – it is trying to pick people out and make good crosses where you feel that he has put it on a plate for you to score.
“So we need to develop that better as well and all those things which come into the final play.”
Moyes added: “It’s not been easy because this [also playing in Europe] is new. Last year we had preparation time, we had lead in time to the games.
“We quite often have not had time to prep players with the days off, as it has been a quick turnaround.”
Despite limited availability to work with the squad between matches, Moyes remains confident the coaching team can still get their message across.
“I see it [being about] if we can have better link-up play, better runs and individually can we try to think how we pick people out?” he said.
“But it is actually getting the time in the week now where you can say, ‘we are going to identify these things and see if we can work on them’.
“If it was down to simply finishing, we can put some finishing practising on every day – but I don’t think it is just down to the last thing (in front of goal), there are other things.”
Moyes added: “We are in a batch of games which I always knew looked as if we might need to alter or make some changes, look at things slightly differently. I have been well aware of that and trying to find ways of getting us the best results.”
Key to West Ham firing on all cylinders again will be maintaining good service to frontman Michail Antonio.
“Michy is a huge part about how we play,” said Moyes. “When we get him firing, it really ignites the whole lot of them, so getting Michy playing at his top is really important for the team.”