West Ham United manager David Moyes admitted he is under pressure to turn results around after a 2-0 defeat at home to Brentford consigned the Hammers to a fifth successive loss in the Premier League.
Goals from Ivan Toney and Josh Dasilva inflicted another damaging loss on the East London club who could find themselves in the bottom three at the start of 2023 depending on Saturday's results.
Moyes' position before the match was that West Ham were not in a relegation scrap but the Scot has been forced into a rethink following Friday's latest setback.
“I’m hoping it’s not the case,” Moyes said when asked about the club being pulled into a relegation battle. “But we’ve lost a few at home recently so we have to be aware that we have to pick up points."
West Ham next face Leeds United away on Wednesday, where another defeat will only increase the pressure on Moyes.
Asked if the Hammers' poor form had put pressure on his own position, Moyes responded: “I don’t think it’s unfair. In the business we’re in if you don’t win in five games you’re going to be under pressure.
“I only want the best for West Ham, it’s been a great club for me and we’ve done well. I’m determined to keep it there and not get dragged down. I hope we can get away from where we are.”
It could have been a very different evening had Declan Rice opened the scoring in the fifth minute but his 20-yard curler hit the post.
Instead, Brentford went ahead when Christian Norgaard’s volley was saved by Lukasz Fabianski and Toney snaffled the rebound for his 13th goal of the season.
They doubled their lead when Toney flicked on a throw-in for Dasilva to chase.
The midfielder raced past Aaron Cresswell, who had a three-yard head start, before burying his shot past Fabianski.
Brentford’s win was soured by a late injury to Toney, who jarred his knee after landing awkwardly and had to be taken off on a stretcher.
“It’s not likely that Ivan would be subbed off for just a knock so that’s a bit worrying,” said Brentford boss Thomas Frank, whose side host Liverpool on Monday.
“It could be nothing, it could be worse, we don’t know. It’s never a good sign, but we don’t know.”
Brentford, now up to ninth, have something of a hex over West Ham having beaten them twice last season.
“It’s a fantastic away win,” added Frank. “Sometimes it just clicks against some opponents, but for Brentford to win against West Ham three times is incredible.”