Payet - Win has boosted our confidence
Dimitri Payet says Wednesday’s EFL Cup third-round victory over Accrington Stanley will be ‘great’ for the Hammers’ confidence.
The France star settled the tie with a stunning last-minute free-kick – his fifth for West Ham United this year – setting up a fourth-round tie with Chelsea here at London Stadium next month.
Having gone within inches of opening his 2016/17 account with another stunning set piece at West Bromwich Albion last weekend, Payet was pleased to score an important, morale-boosting goal in midweek.
“I am working hard on all aspects of my game,” he told whufc.com. “On Saturday, I hit the post with the free-kick and yesterday, it went in.
“The goal helped us a lot and makes us feel a lot better because it meant we avoided extra-time and another 30 minutes of football. It will be great for our confidence.
The No27 found time to praise League Two Accrington for their approach to the tie, explaining how manager Slaven Bilic changed his gameplan at half-time, introducing himself and Manuel Lanzini in a bid to break down a stubborn defence.
“It was a bit of a tricky match on Wednesday,” the Hammer of the Year reflected. “They played well, were well-organised and they kept their shape.
“We are in a period during which we need some more confidence and we couldn’t break them down. As the match went on we opened up the game more and more and that allowed us to play better and become more of a threat.
“Slaven asked Manu and I to get on the ball, to use it well and to get the game going. We weren’t putting them under enough pressure in the first-half because we were a bit slow and needed to move the ball more quickly and to keep the ball better. During the first 45 minutes, we were going long with the ball too often, so Slaven looked to the two of us to help change that.”
Payet now hopes the Hammers will build on Wednesday’s win when they take to the pitch for their Premier League clash with Southampton.
The Saints visit London Stadium on a run of three straight wins in UEFA Europa League, Premier League and EFL Cup, but the Frenchman is confident West Ham can halt their march on Sunday.
“Sunday’s game against Southampton is of course one that we can win and we will be doing all that we can to do so and to take the victory at home,” he stated.
“We know that we are in need of points, but we are at home and I think that the last-minute victory against Accrington will have helped us mentally and will have boosted our confidence and I hope that we will see that on the pitch on Sunday.”
*If you are not coming to London Stadium, you can watch Sunday’s game live on Sky Sports 1 HD, with kick-off at 4pm.