West Ham finding groove after ‘sloppy’ start to season, says Angelo Ogbonna: ‘We are not scared of anyone’

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West Ham finding groove after ‘sloppy’ start to season, says Angelo Ogbonna: ‘We are not scared of anyone’

Angelo Ogbonna believes last night’s draw with Tottenham shows West Ham are over their “sloppy” start to the season and ready to mix it with the best once more.

After beginning their Premier League campaign with three straight defeats, the Hammers edged a drab affair at Aston Villa on Sunday to register their first win of the season but were markedly improved against Spurs and unfortunate not to take all three points at the London Stadium.

Ogbonna feels a drop-off in form was inevitable after the highs of last season and amid significant turnover in the squad, but with another London derby at Chelsea up next on Saturday, sees the Hammers gradually finding their groove.

“It’s normal, when you try to change a lot - we started a bit sloppy,” the centre-back said. “Last season was fantastic, and it’s normal that the performances can drop for one, two, three games. Pre-season was quite long as well, we started a little bit early, but it’s part of the process and we need to let the new people adapt.

“We can compete against every team. We are not scared. We started [the season] a bit sloppy but tonight, in an important game for us, we showed we can handle every game.”

Ogbonna made his first Premier League appearance since suffering an ACL injury last November as a second-half substitute last night, with David Moyes admitting he has had to bring the Italian back sooner than ideal at the start of the season amid a spate of injuries at centre-back.

“I’m so glad, to come back in a derby,” Ogbonna added. “It’s been fantastic and a bit emotional because my family was here. I couldn’t wait to get back on the pitch.

West Ham’s Angelo Ogbonna made his return from a long-term knee injury against Tottenham (PA)
West Ham’s Angelo Ogbonna made his return from a long-term knee injury against Tottenham (PA)

“We were a little bit short in defence so I needed to rush a little bit but the medical staff and the manager know everything about my rehab. We’ve been a little bit lucky but we didn’t force it too much and the result is positive.”