West Ham United suffered a 2-1 loss on the road against NK Domzale in the Europa League third round qualifiers first leg on Thursday.
The win give the Slovenians a slight edge in the return leg next week. Matic Crnic scored twice for the homeside to earn the victory, while Mark Noble scored from the penalty spot for the Hammers. Assistant manager Nikola Jurcevic, who was in charge of the game as manager Slaven Bilic is serving a two-game ban, acknowledge that they need to perform a lot better in the return leg in London.
“First I want to say well done to Domzale because they won today and they were really good,” Jurcevic said. “Our performance was not so good, and maybe I can say it was average in the first half and it was 1-1. We were not satisfied with this result and in the second half was played bad and Domzale was the better team and won 2-1.
“OK, we were maybe not in our top form because it was our first official game and we were without some very important players and only had young players on the bench, but this is not an excuse, I must say.
“Domzale was better and I hope and I am sure we will be better next week. It will be very difficult but I’m optimistic and I hope it will be a different game in the Olympic Stadium. It’s a special game because it’s the first game at the Olympic Stadium with about 54,000 spectators.
“We must be better, we must win this game in our stadium because we also have big ambitions in Europe, but it will be very tough because Domzale showed they are a good team. We must improve next week, with more players back in the squad, and I hope we can win the first game at the Olympic Stadium.”