Cresswell - I feel good now

Having come through another 90 minutes of action for West Ham United, Aaron Cresswell is feeling fitter and stronger with every match he plays.

The left-sided defender made his fourth start of the season at the weekend, continuing his comeback from the knee injury he suffered in pre-season.

The 26-year-old faced the twin challenge of playing as a wing-back and tackling Stoke’s all-action Republic of Ireland forward Jonathan Walters.

“I feel good now,” he confirmed. “I was up against Jonny Walters, who is probably the most energetic player I’ve ever played against, as he’s constantly running and never gives up and credit to him.

“Me personally, I feel good and it’s just about getting back to fitness and I feel I am there.”

While he is feeling physically and mentally fitter than at any point in 2016/17, the No3 says the Hammers need to start faster if they are to avoid a repeat of Saturday’s disappointing draw with Stoke City.

West Ham edged proceedings at London Stadium, taking the lead through Glenn Whelan’s own-goal with 25 minutes remaining, but a late defensive error allowed the Potters to snatch a share of the spoils.

However, Cresswell was frustrated with the way the home side approached the game in the first 45 minutes, when they created precious little from open play and forced just one meaningful save from Stoke goalkeeper Lee Grant.

“It was very frustrating and disappointing, with us getting the lead, but then conceding the goal in the manner that we did,” said the No3.

“I don’t think we were our usual selves. We managed to create enough chances to score the goals to win the game, but we didn’t manage to do that.

“I don’t think we were as good as we’ve been of late. Even at Everton, in the first 20 or 30 minutes, we played well, but we had a slow start on Saturday and that’s not us. We needed that same fast start that we had against Chelsea with the high press and running, but it just wasn’t there.”