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Ward-Prowse holds his hands up

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By Hughie Southon

James Ward-Prowse does what few footballers and manager in holding his hands up to a better team rather than finding excuses for defeat.

And he was spot on in doing so after the game against Manchester City when, despite the most valiant of efforts, the Irons were undone by a footballing juggernaut.

He had every right to feel bitterly upset that after scoring his second goal for the club with a fine stooping header at least a point was not saved from a game in which he and the others had performed so well.

Ward-Prowse says “fair play” holding his hands up

Speaking afterwards he said: “It’s disappointing. When you come against a Man City team you’ll be up against it and sometimes you have to hold your hands up and say ‘fair play’. All of their goals were of real quality, and just a shame we couldn’t respond or hold on to our lead.

“We’re a resilient team and we’re a team that is difficult to break down. In the week, we build up to these sorts of games. We were unlucky not to hold on in this game, but equally we have to hold our hands up and say City are a great team and deserved the win.”

There were plenty of positives for Ward-Prowse to take from the performance, not least his fine finish in the first half and the No7 is relishing his role in the West Ham team, having joined the Club from Southampton last month.

Reflecting on his finish, the 28-year-old said. “There was quite a long build up. Micky [Antonio] made a good run and created the space for Vlad [Coufal] to come in and I was confident of getting onto the end of it. Diving header – not a lot of those in my collection but I’ll take it.

“I’m just trying to be flexible. Sometimes I need to be deep to get on the ball, and sometimes I’m a bit higher, but I try to be that box-to-box midfielder here. I feel like I have the license to do both here, which is good.”

Ward-Prowse wants Euro football

European football returns to the club on Thursdaywith FK TSC Bačka Topola at the  London Stadium in the UEFA Europa League.

Ward-Prowse is excited to experience a European night in Claret and Blue for the first time.

He added: “I wasn’t here to experience the trophy last year but, coming here, you can feel that this is a Club on the rise. This is a Club that is growing, and we’ve got another European adventure to look forward to.

“We’re excited for the challenge. We’re ready to go again.”

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Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!"

Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon