Moyes: Players must take responsibility | Poch: We're mature now

David Moyes said his players must take responsibility after West Ham shipped five yet again, while victorious Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino hailed his side’s maturity.

West Ham were on the wrong end of five goals for the second consecutive away game in a row, while this is the first time they have conceded that many four times in a single season in more than 20 years.

They could have shipped more at Chelsea on Sunday in what was a wretched defensive performance and after the game, Moyes said he took responsibility – but accused his players of lacking the right mentality to avoid such heavy losses.

Hammers’ hammerings

  • December 10: Fulham 5-0 West Ham
  • February 11: West Ham 0-6 Arsenal
  • April 21: Crystal Palace 5-2 West Ham
  • May 5: Chelsea 5-0 West Ham

“We’re lacking toughness, leadership, mental toughness, we’ve come away from two games where we’ve conceded five – and the manager will always take responsibility,” he said. “That’s what happens when you’re in this job, you have to prepare the players, get them right and set them up.

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Sky Sports‘ Danyal Khan and Ron Walker discuss the big talking points after Chelsea’s 5-0 victory over West Ham at Stamford Bridge

“Somewhere along the line, the players have to take responsibility too. Doing their jobs, being hard to play against, being aggressive and competitive. I question if we were all that in the first half.

“I’ve got to be careful with what I say, this is a team that’s been probably sixth, seventh or eighth pretty much all season. You can be Chelsea, not so good at the start and now coming good, or us who have started really well and faded away.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Chelsea’s win against West Ham in the Premier League

“Perhaps that’s the 12 to 14 extra games, that might have a part to play, but we’ve probably not been in good form since the AFCON, losing Mohammed Kudus and Nayef Aguerd, and we’re without a couple of centre-halves which may have helped in some of the games.

“There’s no excuse, but we’re trying to give a reason for some of the poor performances.”

Moyes’ job has been called into question after three wins from 17 Premier League games since the turn of the year and with his contract up in June, West Ham held initial talks with Julen Lopetegui about replacing him earlier this week.

The Scot has already banished technical director Tim Steidten from the first-team dressing room, but when asked whether he had any frustration about the club’s links with other managers, said only: “I’ll talk to the board at the end of the season. We’ll do that then.”

Poch: We’ve matured

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Mauricio Pochettino says that he is happy that fans are getting a ‘good feeling’ again when they play at Stamford Bridge, after a dominant 5-0 win against West Ham

Less than three weeks ago, Pochettino questioned his players’ maturity after watching Noni Madueke, Nicolas Jackson and Cole Palmer squabble over a penalty which overshadowed a 6-0 win over Everton at Stamford Bridge.

That was poles apart from a performance of unity and spirit against the Hammers, where his side refused to take their foot off the gas and added to their three first-half goals with a Jackson double – the first set up unselfishly by Madueke – after the break.

A delighted Pochettino said: “The assist for Noni to Jackson, that showed we learn, that we are smart. The situation with the penalty against Everton, we received so much criticism, but a young team always needs to make mistakes. Always you need to feel this situation to improve.

“Today was a great action from Noni to see how the group has started to believe, how they have started to feel between them. It is always a process that takes time. It can take one month, six months or one year but the most important thing is they have started to set the principles, start to live like a group of players to create all the links to compete.

Chelsea's Noni Madueke celebrates after scoring his side's third goal
Chelsea’s Noni Madueke was player of the match and provided a goal and an assist in their big win

“I am so pleased with that. We are part of this process, to help them to grow, to be more mature and keep improving in every aspect. It is a massive step but it is the step we wanted to reach. Now it is to evolve in other aspects and the possibility to go with tactical evolutions and we can improve from there but without principles, it is impossible to evolve in other aspects.”

Having spent much of the season in the bottom half, Chelsea now have a realistic chance of a top-six finish, and likely a Europa League spot in the process.

Pochettino was questioned over whether this would amount to a successful season given the difficulties he and the club have faced, but chose his words carefully in expressing a note of caution over over expectations.

“I don’t want to say nothing because from the beginning of the season I said the objective always is to win because we are Chelsea, but that created too much pressure,” he said. “The team is now going to be focusing to rest tomorrow and Tuesday prepare for the game on Saturday.

“The objective for us is to be mature and to keep the momentum and to compete, improving in every single game. We are going to try to be in Europe. It’s going to be good for the team and the players to be in Europe next season.

“I cannot say it will be a successful season if you do not win a title here at Chelsea. Again, the expectation always is to win titles with Chelsea. Circumstances showed that the reality was really, really tough from day one to arrive today.

“The staff are happy, the players are so happy because in the really tough moments, we keep pushing. We still believe and we never give up. Even in the circumstances, we were there. That is the important thing when you talk about experience, quality and capacity to deal with things.”

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