Arthur Masuaku says a full week of rest, recovery and preparation will serve West Ham United well ahead of their Emirates FA Cup fourth-round trip to Wigan Athletic.
The Hammers looked a little leggy in the closing stages of Saturday’s 1-1 Premier League draw with AFC Bournemouth at London Stadium – hardly surprising when you consider David Moyes’ injury-hit squad were playing for the sixth time in 19 days, including a 120-minute FA Cup marathon against Shrewsbury Town last Tuesday evening.
And Masuaku, who has played all but 17 of a possible 1,350 minutes since mid-November, says a free midweek has come just at the right time.
“We have been busy,” he said. “I think we were all a bit tired after 60 or 65 minutes against Bournemouth, so it’s important to have some rest now and get ready for the next round of the FA Cup at Wigan on Saturday.”
I need to keep well and try to get some assists and goals
Despite their tired legs, the Hammers recovered from falling a goal behind just 19 minutes from time on Saturday, equalising within 64 seconds through substitute Chicharito.
Masuaku felt his team were good value for their point, particularly after forcing Bournemouth goalkeeper Asmir Begovic into a number of vital saves when the game was still goalless.
“We played pretty well in the first half and then after we dropped a little bit and they scored. I don’t think they deserved to score, but we reacted straight away and scored, so it’s a good point as we were the best team.
“Bournemouth have a good, strong team, but we also have a good team, so the point is a good one.
“We had a few chances but we didn’t score. The thing is, we need to be more aggressive in front of the goal and we must score. But we got a point, at least, so this is what we have to think about.”
The left wing-back was again to the fore himself against the Cherries, completing 85.7% of his passes and putting in six crosses as the Hammers dominated for long periods, particularly in the opening 45 minutes.
A constant outlet, the No26 also provided support at the defensive end of the pitch, repeatedly bringing lifting the pressure on his team with his ability to run at pace with the ball at his feet.
Masuaku has become one of the first names on Moyes’ teamsheet and is eager to repay his manager’s faith, and that of the West Ham supporters, over the closing months of the season.
“The manager has just given me confidence. Last year I was injured so I couldn’t play and couldn’t show my best. Now, since he came, he has given me the opportunity to play and I just try to give him back the confidence that he has given me. That’s it.
“I also want to show my best to the fans on the pitch. I need to keep well and try to get some assists and goals.”