Pervis Estupinan admits the biggest learning curve this season came in the only Premier League defeat in our opening four matches, a 3-1 loss to West Ham.
We enjoyed 78% possession as well as over double the amount of shots (25) that the Irons had (12).
Those stats proved inconsequential when we were beaten at the Amex, and our Ecuadorian full-back anticipates more teams will follow David Moyes’s team’s gameplan this season.
“Every team studies us more. West Ham did their homework, they planned the game very well and it was very hard for us to play through them as they sat back and closed spaces," he said.
“But I think we still played a good match. We didn’t lose our essence of playing our football and looking to attack. We still have chances to score goals. Their keeper made some good saves.
"What cost us was counter-attacks. They took their chances, they were very good and it won them the game.
“We will try to work more on those situations. A lot of teams will have seen how West Ham play and will plan in this way when they play us. We need to find a way to solve these problems.”
Estupinan and his teammates bounced back the following week with a resounding 3-1 victory over Newcastle United.
The 25-year-old regularly threatened down the flank in that fixture as he has done since his arrival from Villareal in 2022, although he is always working to improve.
“I work on that every day. I look after myself well. Concentration has a lot to do with it and also help from my team-mates. At times when I attack the central midfielders or centre-backs have to be very aware and cover my runs.
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"That is something we are working on - that when I go forward or the right-back attacks, a central midfielder or centre-back is covering the space because that is something that is going to happen a lot this season.
"Every day we are learning things and we need to give it time. We work on everything, not just attacking. It’s both defensive and offensive work.
“It’s in these [big] games when we are most concentrated. We know that the teams have got players who are much more experienced. Obviously we have to be very concentrated in all games, but I think this type of match suits us. It is where we are at our most focussed."