David Moyes: Fine form, Antonio's impact and Aston Villa
David Moyes says the performance levels of his West Ham United team are now being rewarded with the points they deserve.
The Hammers' fine form since the season restart has seen them take eleven points since defeating Chelsea 3-2 at London Stadium six games ago.
A 1-1 draw at Manchester United on Wednesday made their Premier League status mathematically certain and means they can approach Sunday's season finale against Aston Villa free of any relegation worries.
For the manager, that is a result of the hard work put in by the entire Club since football returned.
It's pleasing to get the job done
I would say we’re all relieved because it’s been difficult and it’s been quite stressful. After we came back from lockdown we knew the pressure was going to be on. Playing nine games in six weeks was always going to be difficult, so to get the job done before the last game of the season was more than pleasing.
The last time I was here we had a similar situation where we beat Leicester, drew with Man Utd and beat Everton in the last three games. I’m pleased to say we’ve done something very similar.
The upturn in performances came before lockdown
I thought that before lockdown started we were very unlucky at Anfield, then we went to Arsenal and were very close to beating them - we probably should have at the time.
So, I don’t think you can say it’s just after lockdown. Before lockdown we had a good run of form, we just hadn’t picked up the points then.
Michail Antonio deserves his goals
Michail has been really, really important to us. He’s played great and even for a boy who's 30 now, he has matured a lot recently. He’s looking after himself in a way that gives him every chance of performing well and all those things are helping him.
The loss of Seb Haller to injury meant we had to find another forward player in what was going to be a difficult period for us and Mick’s certainly stepped up to the plate. I’m really pleased for him.
We want to finish strongly against Aston Villa
It’s not going to be easy and I never expected it to be. I probably expected us to be maybe competing against Aston Villa to stay up a while back, but our players have done a great job to get into a safe position.
We have to credit the players for the way they’ve gone about their job and that we’ve not had to take it to the last game of the season for it to be decided from our point of view.
I know exactly how the other managers [at Aston Villa, Watford and Bournemouth] are feeling because I was feeling exactly the same way a couple of weeks ago. It’s so close and incredibly stressful for the managers but that’s the job we’re in. There’s so much at stake as well, so I understand exactly what it’s like for the managers and thankfully from our point of view we got ourselves out of it.