Issa Diop says West Ham United still have ‘plenty of room for improvement’ as they prepare to face Manchester United on Saturday.
The Hammers have recovered from a difficult start to the season to go unbeaten in their last three matches in all competitions, winning at Everton and drawing with Chelsea in the Premier League before thumping Macclesfield Town 8-0 in the Carabao Cup in midweek.
Diop started all three matches and drew widespread praise for his performances, but the centre-back says both he and his teammates are striving for an even higher level moving forward.
We are all professionals and we had to remain strong and work hard to turn things around
“It’s true that we’ve had some good results recently but there is still plenty of room for improvement,” he said. “Of course, the first four games were not an ideal situation but we are all professionals and we had to remain strong and work hard to turn things around.
“We were delighted to keep our first clean sheet of the season against Chelsea and felt it was a game we could have won, but it was a good, solid performance and hopefully we can replicate that in our upcoming games.
“As a player, I’d say I am never satisfied with my own performance and I always feel there is room for improvement.”
Diop knows West Ham will need to be at their best if they are to beat Manchester United for the first time at London Stadium, with Belgium forward Romelu Lukaku and the defender’s fellow Frenchman Paul Pogba just two of the many threats posed by Jose Mourinho’s side.
The 21-year-old is not intimidated, though, saying: “There are so many big clubs in the Premier League, but I will approach the game like I approach any other, whether it’s against Manchester United or any other team. There is no difference for me. I know that they’re a great team, but hopefully we can get the win.
“Everyone knows Lukaku is a top striker who scores lots of goals and is very strong and clinical in the box, but I hope I can do well against him and stop him doing well and scoring and ending up on the winning team.
“Of course, Paul Pogba is a very player and everyone knows about his technical ability, his physicality and he is good with both feet so he can change a game whenever he wants to. He is a threat, but Manchester United are a top team with world-class players throughout their side.”