The Big Interview

Man of the moment Cheikhou Kouyate believes West Ham United can match the best

West Ham United midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate has been in superb form recently, scoring crucial goals against Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.
The 25-year-old midfielder has been a hit with the West Ham fans since his summer move Anderlecht, making 20 appearances in an impressive debut season.
Ahead of Saturday’s London derby with Crystal Palace, caught up with the versatile, enthusiastic Senegalese international.

Sunday's performance shows that we can compete with the likes of Spurs, Southampton and Manchester United. That must give us great confidence ahead of facing Crystal Palace?

CK: “While it remains mathematically possible, we're going to fight right until the end to try to grab hold of a European place for next season. For that to happen we have to try to control the end of games, not like Sunday, but it was still a good performance from the whole team. 

The goals continue to come for you recently, a third for you in total now?

CK: “It's my third goal and on top of that it was against Tottenham away. It was a special game for all the fans. I really wanted to score and then go on to win the game, so that the goal would become even more special.” 

Diaf would have been proud of a header like that!

CK: “For sure! Even was disgusted by the result last Sunday but it's done now and we've got prepare ourselves for the game against Crystal Palace. This time try to take all three points.” 

It goes without saying that conceding in the last minute is disappointing, but football can be cruel sometimes... 

CK: “We were all really disappointed. It's a game that you can't lose and a game for the supporters. We lost two points again on Sunday and that's the disappointing thing, especially as we did enough to win the game.

“It was painful, with, I don't know, perhaps ten seconds left to play and a penalty which came from nowhere. But what's done is done. We've got concentrate on the next game, Crystal Palace at home.” 

Another positive from Sunday’s game was our fans, they really got behind the team…

CK: “We're sorry because we knew that had we won the game they would really have been proud of us. And we want to say thank you as well, because it was truly fantastic, they supported us right until the end, so thank you to all the fans.”

Despite the result, there were still plenty of positives to take into Saturday’s game?

CK: “For sure, the team played very well. We scored goals and that's what the manager wanted. It obviously wasn't good at the end, but what we've got to take from the match is the team's good performance.”