David Moyes will not be rushing injured players back into the West Ham United first team for this week’s clash with Everton as the manager keeps one eye on a busy festive fixture list.
West Ham travel to Goodison Park on Wednesday for Moyes’s third match in charge of the Hammers, with the side beginning to brace itself for an accumulation of matches before the end of the year.
The Irons will play eight competitive contests in December, starting with Manchester City away at the weekend, and Moyes is eager to ensure his players are fully prepared for the manic schedule.
With that in mind the West Ham United boss is reluctant to force back the Club’s current group of players on the sidelines – including Chicharito, Michail Antonio, and James Collins – with Moyes indicating that the Mexican striker did not train on Monday while suggesting the latter duo are still working their way back.
We have to be really careful because our squad isn't the biggest. It's important to get these boys fit and ready to play.
“We have a couple of knocks and niggles but nothing to be overly concerned about,” Moyes told his press-conference. “I’ll wait until tomorrow to see for sure.
“Chicharito has not trained today, so he's going to be a few days or a bit longer at this rate. But we want him back fit, because we have so many games coming up.
"It's the same for James Collins and even Michail Antonio. We have to be really careful because our squad isn't the biggest. It's important to get these boys fit and ready to play."
All three are yet to play under Moyes since the Scotsman was appointed West Ham United manager. Chicharito has been out with a hamstring injury, sustained on international duty at the start of the month, while Antonio’s last appearance for the Hammers was against Crystal Palace.
Collins meanwhile is still recovering from an ankle injury that the Welsh defender suffered in September’s draw at West Brom.
One player who could be involved on Wednesday is Club captain Mark Noble. The midfielder was left out of the starting XI for Friday’s draw with Leicester City but Moyes has confirmed he will be in the squad for the Everton game.
Moyes added: “If anyone is going to rally West Ham United, it's Mark Noble. In the time I've been with him, he's driving everybody on and making sure everyone is doing the right thing in training.
"He took [being left out] the right way as you'd expect. He will certainly be part of the squad at Everton."