Following West Ham United’s 6-2 win over Perth Glory at Optus Stadium, respective head coaches David Moyes and Kenny Lowe reflected on an important pre-season match for both.
Goals from Jarrod Bowen, Gianluca Scamacca and Emerson Palmieri saw the Hammers to a comfortable victory in Western Australia, but the Glory refused to go down without a fight, with two goals of their own.
After the match, David Moyes spoke highly of the DT38 Foundation, set up in memory of WA-born and former West Ham United player Dylan Tombides, who died aged 20 following a battle with testicular cancer.
“I have to say I learned a lot about it,” said Moyes in his post-match press conference. “When I came in, I didn’t really know a lot about it at all. Certainly, the cause is incredible. It shows you whatever part of the world you’re in, none of us are safe from anything.
“I do believe West Ham and I have to say Glory and the rest of Perth have been fantastic about it as well. The club do a really good job with charities and making them known to everybody, so I’m really pleased that it’s seen well and respected here, and everybody is right behind it.”
Reflecting on the match, Moyes gave a positive evaluation of the test his Hammers side faced.
“Tactically [Glory] tried to play well in the first half. The strength and experience we have was probably the difference, and the finishing power as well especially when we put on Jarrod Bowen, but overall, I thought Glory played well.
“We started well with the early goal and then got the second, not against the run of play but certainly after Glory had had their own opportunities and [Lukasz] Fabianski had made some good saves. It was a pretty even game for periods, but we were just a bit more clinical when we got on the ball and had the chances to score.”
Interim Glory head coach Lowe echoed these thoughts in his assessment of the match.
“I thought maybe for the first five or six minutes we were a bit nervous, and to concede one after a minute you’re thinking, ‘Oh here we go.’ But I thought we did really well. Their keeper made some really good saves. It was an even-ish first half, end-to-end. They had chances, we had chances. The pleasing thing for us was that we controlled the ball at times and controlled the tempo and played through and in-behind [their defence]. I thought it was really entertaining.
“Obviously with the game coming up and with a very small squad we had to play the young boys, but that wasn’t a problem, I think. I’m sure they enjoyed the experience. We came out in the first couple of minutes and after an unbelievable move, and with young Joel [Anasmo] at the back stick, I think if he’d stuck that away I’d have been off to the bar straight afterwards, it would have been an unbelievable goal.”
Lowe was pleased with the challenge his players put to their Premier League opponents.
“Everybody did ever so well, and there were lots of positives all over the park. We’ve only been together a couple of weeks, but we’ve implemented a playing style. We’re going to play this way, non-negotiable, we’ll make mistakes, but we don’t care if we do, and we’ll get caught on the ball in the back third because of the way we play.
“[West Ham] came and played in a brilliant manner. The biggest thing I can say about them is the respect in the second half because they came out and pressed us. They really came after us, which is probably not good for the young boys, but it showed the respect they had for us, and it was really good.”
Daniel Bennie headlined a number of young players Lowe used during the match, and the Australian under-17 international made the best of his opportunity on the big stage by scoring the Glory’s second goal.
“I think Daniel is young, he’s got potential,” Lowe continued. “He just needs to keep his feet on the ground. Keep working hard and doing the things that have got him here to play tonight and keep progressing and growing. He’s a super kid, he’s balanced, he’s got no ego. He’s got plenty of chance but like any kid who has got a shitload of potential, you’ve got to balance that.”
Lowe believes the cohort of young players that have been coming through the club’s academy over the last few years is something to be proud of, and hinted that their could be more talent exported overseas in the near future.
“The right back [James Overy] was 15, and he’s a winger – he’s never played right back in his life! Poor lad, he won’t sleep tonight, but he did brilliantly. You’ve got six WA boys in the [Australian] under-20s. We’ve seen the boy [Chris Donnell] go to Fulham, got maybe a couple of other ones bubbling that maybe could happen to other clubs in the Championship or Premier League, but things look healthy.”
As for the club’s near future, Lowe is pleased with the quality in the playing group but expects a new head coach to add experience.
“We’re in a good place here, we probably need a couple of senior boys through the door, and whoever comes in to do the [head coach] job will do that, and just give the young ‘uns a chance. Maybe not too many at once because you’ll get sacked! But two or three at a time, not six or seven.”
Perth Glory will now travel to Darwin to play Macarthur in the round-of-32 of the Australia Cup, whilst West Ham will play Ange Postecoglou’s Tottenham Hotspur at Optus Stadium again – both matches on Tuesday, July 18.