Goalkeeper Alphonse Areola has called on West Ham United to use Thursday night’s 1-1 draw with Bournemouth as a platform for success as they finalise preparations for a trip to Manchester United on Sunday.
James Ward-Prowse’s second-half penalty cancelled out Dominic Solanke’s early opener under the London Stadium lights, while a string of fine saves from Areola - particularly before half-time - helped the Hammers earn a point for a third successive league game.
The result also stretched the Club’s unbeaten record in the top-flight to six matches, and the France international remains fully focused on the positives from that match in the build-up to tomorrow’s trip north.
“It was a tough game against Bournemouth, but we showed good fight after conceding early on and in the second half we kept pushing until the final whistle,” said Areola, 30.
“We got the point in the end, and we have to use that now and make sure we’re ready for Sunday.
“It’s a good challenge for us to go there and try to get the right result. We’ve shown this season that we can compete with the biggest teams, so we’ll go there confident we can show what we’re made of.”
Indeed, West Ham saw off the Red Devils 2-0 in the teams’ most recent meeting on 23 December, and they travel to Old Trafford knowing that victory will widen the gap between them to four points in the table.
Four changes to the XI for the Bournemouth clash saw debutant Kalvin Phillips feature, as well as Mohammed Kudus, Edson Álvarez and Ben Johnson, and Areola insists the return of key players has provided the squad with a boost going into the business end of the campaign.
He added: “We have a lot of games, and we know that we’re going to need everyone going forward. We saw that against Bournemouth, and while I was pleased to contribute with some saves, we all had a part to play.
“There is a good atmosphere in training, and we feel we have a good squad and a good feeling. It’s good to have more numbers, and we’ll look forward to seeing what we can do against Manchester United and beyond that.”