West Ham secured a 3-2 win against Southend in their recent friendly game and while Woods appreciates the work given to the club’s goalkeeper and defence, he’s suggested it’s important the side can put a few clean sheets together before the serious action comes thick and fast.
“From a defensive point of view, it’s nice to keep clean sheets but at the same time it’s nice for the defence and goalkeeper to get some work in in these sorts of games,” Woods told whufc.com.
“I think clean sheets and saves build confidence and they are what we are working towards.”
Frailties last season
The defence does need some confidence because there were examples last season where there was a bit of weakness and some holes to be filled in the team.
Situations in matches against Tottenham and Manchester United, to name just two, saw the team concede late goals which led to the direct consequence of points being lost, which would have improved the club’s final league position.
The club’s overall form over the second half of the season was also generally negative, which has created a pressure for the defence to improve and become one of the strongest parts of the side in the new campaign.
Europa League has helped
What has helped is the Europa League qualifying games, where the club are yet to concede a goal.
When the pressure has been increased slightly, the team has responded well and it’s always going to be difficult to find that consistency in friendly games, given the chance for any manager to experiment and make a high number of changes.