Reading 1 West Ham 0
West Ham forward Ricardo Vaz Te admitted his glaring miss in the closing stages of Saturday’s defeat at Reading has left him feeling responsible for the loss.
The 26-year-old was introduced from the bench by Hammers boss Sam Allardyce with 23 minutes remaining as the visitors chased an equaliser to Pavel Pogrebnyak’s fifth-minute strike.
But Vaz Te, making his first appearance since dislocating a shoulder against Arsenal on October 6, will remember his comeback for all the wrong reasons after heading Matt Jarvis’ cross wide of the post from just four yards out.
“I felt like I should have done better and I should have scored, there was no excuse for that,” he said.
“I’m just very disappointed with the result, especially after coming on and having a great chance to score. I’m just really disappointed I couldn’t make it for the lads... I felt like I let everybody down and I’m just going to try to do better next time.”
Allardyce saw defender James Collins gift Pogrebnyak the only goal of the game with a weak backpass and bemoaned both the mistake from the Wales defender and Vaz Te’s miss.
The 58-year-old said Vaz Te’s late chance was one of the easiest in the history of the Barclays Premier League and the player agreed with him.
“It was a great chance – the easiest chance I will ever have to score and I should have put it in the back of the net,” said Vaz Te.
“I’m obviously very disappointed so I’m going to strive to do better next time. I’m going to keep work and keep improving and as my fitness picks up, I will surely do better.”
Reading’s victory moves them to within five points of safety and more people will now start taking Brian McDermott’s claims his side can avoid the drop more seriously.
The result also means West Ham have now won just one of their last eight league fixtures and are only six points ahead of 18th-placed Southampton.
READING: Federici, Gunter, Mariappa, Pearce, Harte, Leigertwood, Karacan, Kebe (Robson-Kanu 76), Guthrie (Hunt 65), McAnuff, Pogrebnyak.
WEST HAM: Jaaskelainen, Tomkins, Collins, Reid, O’Brien, Noble (Maiga 79), O’Neil (Vaz Te 67), Taylor (Collison 54), Nolan, Jarvis, Cole.
Referee: Michael Oliver.
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