'We need to give 200% energy'

Cheikhou Kouyate says West Ham United will need to ‘give 200% energy’ to beat Sunderland on Saturday
Cheikhou Kouyate says West Ham United will need to ‘give 200% energy’ to beat Sunderland on Saturday.

The Hammers welcome the Black Cats to the Boleyn Ground on the back of one win in their last 12 Barclays Premier League matches.

Sunderland, meanwhile, have scored just once in their previous six games – a record that saw head coach Gus Poyet depart and be replaced by Dutch veteran Dick Advocaat earlier this week.

Despite the change in the visitors’ dugout, Kouyate says West Ham must concentrate all their efforts on their own game if they are to give Advocaat a losing debut.

“West Ham need to get a victory,” the No8 confirmed. “It’ll be a very hard game. It’s been six or seven games since we last won. We need to focus on Saturday and make sure we get three points.

“I don’t know much about their new head coach Advocaat, but I do know that players can play better for a new manager. We need to concentrate and focus on ourselves and be ready to go to battle. We need to give 200% energy to make sure we win.”

On a personal level, Kouyate will be hoping that Winston Reid recovers from a hamstring injury in time for Saturday’s tea-time clash at the Boleyn Ground, enabling the Senegalese to move into his favoured midfield role.

“Midfield is my first preferred position, so hopefully Winston will be back for Saturday, but I am happy wherever I play,” he explained. “As long as I am playing football, that is the main thing, but I enjoy the midfield battle more than in defence!”
For Kouyate, Saturday’s fixture with Sunderland will likely be played at a faster pace than the game of walking football that he took part in at Chadwell Heath on Tuesday.

The West Ham United Foundation and charity Friends of the Elderly brought a group of older Hammers fans to the training ground, where they spent time with first-time players and Barclays Digital Eagles learning how to use the Club’s new website.

Following that, they took to the indoor pitch for a warm-up and a session of walking football with Kouyate, Alex Song, Carl Jenkinson and Diego Poyet.

“It was a lot of fun,” said the reigning Player of the Month. “They are very nice people and I liked it a lot. It was good fun.

“Sometimes old people stay at home, with no friends and family and no activity. This was a very, very good experience for them and I’m very happy for them.

“It was very good work for everyone involved. It’s a respectful thing to do. If the Club can make people happy then I think it should. I support this type of activity.”

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