West Ham United manager David Moyes believes his squad is well-equipped to deal with the challenges that will come their way over the finishing stretch of the 2020/21 campaign.
The Hammers will have to do without Declan Rice, who has a knee injury, when they host Leicester City on Sunday, while Michail Antonio is also likely to miss out after leaving the action early at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday night.
Moyes’ men overcame Rice’s absence in style to triumph at Wolves, just as they have done throughout the campaign whenever players have had to sit out.
The boss says that is no coincidence, as the togetherness within the squad means there are always players ready to step up when called upon.
“If you’re going to have success, you need team spirit - and we’ve got a great team spirit around the Club,” Moyes said.
“Inside the building, around the training ground, it’s fun. The players are having a lot of fun as well and we want that, because we’re all in a difficult period [with the COVID-19 pandemic] and it’s not easy to have that much fun nowadays.
“We try to bring them in and let them enjoy their football, and obviously work hard too.
“That all plays its part in trying to build a Club with a good team spirit, and long may it continue. I have to say Mark Noble is a big part of that as well. He’s key to all that happening.
“Probably over the second half of the season we’ve had to make the odd change here and there due to injuries, but thankfully the players who have come in have done a brilliant job and I hope that remains.”
Should Antonio miss out against the Foxes, Jarrod Bowen is ready to step in after scoring in each of his last two outings - against Arsenal and Wolves either side of the international break - and Moyes has been impressed with his steady progress since joining the Hammers from Hull City a little over a year ago.
“Jarrod Bowen is a great example of a player who has that hunger to prove that they can compete,” the manager added, “He came through at Hull and is making his way in the Premier League.
“There are a lot of players in the Championship who can go on and do big things, but I think the important thing is you can’t lose your hunger or think suddenly: ‘I’ve made it’. The minute you stop working, it finishes for you.
“Jarrod’s really hungry. He’s at it - he’s still trying to establish himself. This is his first full season in the Premier League, and you have to say he’s making a good go of it.”