Kouyate - I'm back at my top level

Cheikhou Kouyate insists there will be no hangover from last weekend’s defeat by Newcastle United come Saturday’s early-evening kick-off against Manchester City. 

After returning to the side for the 2-1 reverse at St James’ Park, the Senegalese midfielder says he already feels back to his lung-busting best. 

Kouyate readily admits that nothing short of full throttle will do on Saturday and sees no reason why the Hammers cannot do the double over the Citizens. 

“I’ve been training really hard and I feel that I’ll be back to my top level," he told whufc.com. "You need to be at 100 per cent to perform at your top level in the Premier League. I’ve been training hard and I’m ready for the weekend. 

“I’m feeling much better now after the injury. I felt a bit tired after the Newcastle game, but I’ve had a good few days to recover and now I feel 100 per cent.” 

What chance, then, of a repeat of the Hammers’ 2-1 success at the Etihad Stadium earlier in the campaign?   

“It’s football, anything’s possible,” he added. “We’re not here to give out presents to any other teams. We’re playing at home and we want to get the three points. 

“They’ve got players, they’re a top side and of course it won’t be easy. We’ll do everything we can to win. Naturally, all the work we’ve been doing in training this week has been aimed at the match and I hope it will pay off.”

Though the 26-year-old has a habit of popping up with a goal against the big boys, Kouyate knows that much will depend on his side’s ability to stifle their free-scoring visitors.   

He continued: “I think their main strengths lie in attack, they’ve brought in Kevin de Bruyne who’s a player I really admire. He’s technically very gifted. 

“Sergio Aguero’s back to his best, he’s a top striker and of course Yaya Toure is a player who needs no introduction. We know they’re a top team but we also know what we need to do in order to get the win.”  

Saturday’s contest will be another interesting gauge of the Hammers’ fine progress this term and Kouyate knows that expectations are as high as ever.   

“The Club has big aims and we’re doing all we can to achieve them and I hope that the team continues to get better and better so that we handle that. We’re keeping our feet on the ground and working hard as always.”