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David Moyes has highlighted West Ham United’s defence as an area that needs major improvement before the club can start climbing the Premier League table.

The former Manchester United boss was appointed as Slaven Bilic’s successor at the London Stadium last week and inherits a side sitting 18th after 11 matches of the campaign.

The Hammers have conceded 23 goals in that time and the backline has been Moyes’ focus since taking charge last Tuesday.

“We would […] be stupid if we didn’t look back,” the Scot told the club’s official website.

“We’ve looked at the goals we’ve conceded and we have got the worst defensive record in the league,” he continued.

“First of all, we’ve got to try and find a way of stopping that.

“We don’t want to stop the attacking play because we’ve got good attacking players as well.

“But we can’t get away with not running back.”

Bilic’s last game in charge was a comprehensive 4-1 home defeat to Liverpool, a fixture that shone a light on the huge job that Moyes has ahead of him.

Defensively naive and sloppy in possession, the Irons seemed to lack organisation and had no answer to their opponents’ rapid counter-attacks.

Disciplining his players and implementing a cohesive game plan are thus high priorities for Moyes, whose Everton side were renowned for being physically imposing and tough to beat.

If he can instil those values in East London, then he will be confident of securing West Ham’s safety well in advance of the end of the season in May.

First up for the ex-Celtic defender is an away trip to Watford this weekend, with his opening home game in charge a Friday night fixture under the lights against Leicester City the following week.

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