David Moyes: Team news, Leicester, racism and Mark Noble
David Moyes discussed team news, his respect for high-flying Leicester City, his opposition to racism and his expectation that Mark Noble will remain with West Ham United after his playing career is over during his Friday press conference.
Speaking to the broadcast media ahead of Sunday’s Premier League fixture between the Hammers and Foxes at London Stadium, Moyes revealed Michail Antonio is a major injury doubt after hurting his hamstring in last Monday’s 3-2 win at Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The manager also expressed his admiration for 2015/16 champions Leicester and the job being done by his opposite number Brendan Rodgers, stated his total opposition to racism in the game, before stating his belief that captain Noble still has a huge amount to offer the Club he joined two decades ago...
We’ve obviously had a couple of injuries and I don’t think Mick is going to make this game but I think, apart from that, we’re not too bad.
I won’t give you any more information on Declan Rice, to be honest. I will just say he has got an injury as everybody is aware and we’ll try and get him back as quick as we can. We don’t want to put any timescale on it. Obviously, he’s an important player, but we move on and we have other players who we hope can come in and help us.
I was asked why I didn’t sign a centre-forward in January and my answer is I chose to bring in Jesse Lingard instead.
I don’t know how close we are to keeping Jesse at the Club next season as we’ve not spoken about it. We’re enjoying having him, he’s been great around the place, we really enjoy having him and I think he’s enjoying his time as well but we’ve not considered any more than that at this present time.
Leicester City on Sunday is no more important than winning at Wolves the other night but it’s the next game and the next game is always the most important, so we’ll treat it the same way, try and approach it in the same manner and hopefully we’ll come out with the same result.
Have I got enough time to talk about Leicester’s main threats? They’re an incredibly good side, they’re doing well this season and have done for a while now, they’re in the semi-final of the FA Cup so we’re up against a top team and a team who have been competing up the top end of the league for quite a few seasons now.
I think the way they have gone about their business and the way they have worked have been very good. Brendan has done a great job. They are competitive, they’re challenging the top teams at the moment and they’ve certainly broken into the top six
They weren’t even in the Premier League a few years ago, so they deserve to be in among that group. They‘ve shown it’s not a one-off, they’ve built on it, they’re continuing to build on it and they’re having a very good season this year.
So, it’s a tough game, but nobody has mentioned that we went there and beat them, so let’s see if we can go and do it again.
I hope we can do it again but it shows the levels the players have played at that we could do that and there are not many teams who have given Leicester as tough a game as we did on that day and I hope we can show it again.
I actually believe Leicester have improved since that period, but also that we have improved as well, so hopefully we can try and give them a really good game. We played really well up there and I’m hoping for more of the same.
I think Leicester are a really good model for a lot of clubs.
Their recruitment has been very good, as has their stability. We hear a lot about overseas owners, but I have to say their owners have been a great credit to the way they’ve gone about their work.
I don’t know the club that well and only see it from a distance but they won the league a few years ago, they’re continually competing and they’re looking to bring in young players for the future which obviously complements the very good experienced players they’ve got at the club already.
When their time comes to move on, they’re building another team underneath that as well so they’ve done great, Leicester, and Brendan has done well the two or three years since he’s been there.
Racism is something the Club will just not tolerate at all. There is a zero-tolerance here and we just won’t have it.
The Club will make a decision over social media etc and what’s going on on but I think it’s really important we make a stand and make sure everybody realises that racism is not for anybody and it can’t be in the society we are in at this present time.
I don’t do social media, but what I do know is that football players did incredible things during the pandemic through social media – the amount of charities they helped, the food banks they donated to.
There are an awful lot of good things through social media but I don’t think anybody should take any abuse. I can’t see any reason why you should be put in that position.
At the Club we won’t have any of it and they deal with it very swiftly when it happens. I can’t see any reason why that should be allowed.
I’m really concerned about the fact we have conceded goals after going into 3-0 leads in our last two games.
I want us to score five or six goals instead of three, but we have to say it’s something we have to consider.
We have an attacking team at the moment and we are trying to keep scoring goals, we know what’s at stake and if the players keep winning 3-2, why would I tell them to do anything different?
We have the second-best home record in the Premier League, but London Stadium won’t become a fortress until we have all the supporters back in.
When we get the West Ham fans back in and they see the way the team is playing and the sort of commitment and energy the players provide, then hopefully it’ll become even harder to come here and get results.
We’ll do our best to make it more enjoyable with the team winning if we can.
Mark Noble will reach 400 Premier League appearances for West Ham United on Sunday if he plays and it’s great because to be at one club and play 400 Premier League games is some doing when you work out how long you’d have to be there and the consistency you’ve got to have.
Injuries play their part too in players’ careers so it’s a great achievement. He’s reached an awful lot of milestones at West Ham because of his loyalty and his consistency as a player and we’re enjoying him at the moment. He’s a really good captain for us and he played well the other night at Wolves.
I do see Mark becoming part of the staff in the future, but while he is still playing well and contributing on that side of it we want him in that area.
I have no doubt Mark’s future career will be somewhere at West Ham. What area that’s in I don’t know exactly, but I have no doubt he will be in and around the Club.