David Moyes: We just want supporters back
David Moyes is relishing the return of West Ham United supporters to London Stadium for Saturday's Premier League fixture with Manchester United.
Some 279 days after a capacity crowd cheered Moyes’ side to a 3-1 win over Southampton, 2,000 fans will be present to watch the in-form Hammers take on the Red Devils. If you are attending Saturday’s game, please click here to visit our matchday Hammers Hub.
Speaking to the media ahead of the meeting with one of his old clubs, Moyes discussed the positivity flowing through his in-form team ahead of an historic day for the Club.
The biggest thing I would like to say is that we have been waiting on the fans to come back for nine months like every club.
We have been so pleased with the results, staying up last year when we had those games when we knew we would miss them [the fans] and obviously we have had a good start to this season.
Overall, it’s a start. We have got a great stadium and hopefully it won’t be long before we can fill it up with them all.
I have to say it has been really strange not having fans, but I don’t know if it will be even stranger having only 2,000 back in a 60,000-seater stadium!
It is not something that we have discussed openly. We just want supporters back. It is a start and the Club has done a really good job in making sure that everything is safe and prepared, as have other clubs, because we are fully aware of our responsibilities.
Overall, it is great. I am sure there will be some people disappointed they haven’t got a ticket just now, but there will be others who are really excited to come back to a game.
I hope the returning fans will recognise a more energetic, more committed team.
We are also trying to find a way to play players in their best positions, give them the best opportunity to perform. We've got competition, people ready to play and looking to play.
I want the supporters to feel a real level of positivity. The team are showing it in training, the atmosphere in the dressing room is terrific, and we've got a real band of young players – Declan Rice, Thomas Soucek, Pablo Fornals – some of them are really just growing as we go along.
We want to keep improving, but we've got a group now showing another side to their game which is making sure that when things aren't quite so good, we can still get points out of it.
We can’t guarantee any results but what we do want to do is try and get better, progress and improve and the players are doing that.
Even after the first lockdown when he had nine games in six weeks, we did a really good job to make sure we were a Premier League team but I think it is really important that we have kicked on again from then.
We want to stay up near the top of the league, enjoy it as it is a much better feeling than being down near the bottom. I am going to do everything I can to keep us around the top end.
I think for West Ham to get off to a good start when probably the media and lots of others thought we wouldn’t, says a lot. It shows we have got a group of players who are keen to impress, keen to improve.
I want to get back to the values of the club which is being one of the biggest in the country, but we have a lot to do before we can get there.
When you talk about targets, it’s difficult because I can’t come and say: ‘Yeah, let’s get to 40 points’ without sounding negative. Ideally, we go as far as we go and get everything we can, but ultimately it took us up to the last game of the season last time to even get up to 40 points – we didn’t even get to 40 – and we stayed up.
Let’s see if we can get 40, 50 or more but ultimately we are not setting any targets. What I do know is I want to see the team playing well, focused to be good, results to be better and to stay on the shirt tails of the big boys if I can.
I don't think I had to answer any critics because as a football manager you always have to prove yourself because you are judged game by game.
The biggest proof I can give is I've had nearly 1,000 games as a manager which gives you an idea, for people to keep giving you a job and the level of longevity, I actually don't know if there are any managers from when I started in the Premier League who are still there now?
So, to get that amount of games means you're doing something right. But you always have to prove yourself as a manager, you always have to keep winning, and things can change very quickly.
I'm really enjoying this period, I'm enjoying West Ham, I enjoyed it last time. I thought we were a bit unlucky not to keep the job last time, but the biggest compliment I can give the owners is they recognised the job we did the first time was good enough to get it again.