Moyes: Strong Hammers squad set for Stockport
David Moyes has indicated he will be utilising the full talent of his first-team squad when West Ham United travel to play Stockport County on Monday.
The Irons will begin their 2020/21 FA Cup journey at the third-round stage away to the National League side, and the Hammers manager says his team is in high spirits heading into their first outing since the 1-0 victory away to Everton on New Year’s Day.
As preparations continue for Monday's match, Moyes suggested supporters will see a strong West Ham side in action at Edgeley Park.
“We’re in great spirits,” the manager said. “We’ve just got back from a win against Everton and we’ve been able to give the players a few days off, because of the three games in six days, which we had to play. We’re in very good spirits.
“We have a good squad of players at the moment, who will be the squad of players that go to Stockport. We certainly won’t have a team full of young players [on Monday].”
We have a good squad of players at the moment, who will be the squad of players that go to Stockport. We certainly won’t have a team full of young players.
Two players who will not be involved will be Sebastien Haller and Robert Snodgrass, after the duo secured transfers to Ajax, and West Bromwich Albion respectively, on Friday.
Moyes offered some insight into the two departures, thanking both Haller and Snodgrass for their efforts and commitment during their time in Claret and Blue.
“The Seb Haller situation, we got an offer, and we didn’t expect it,” he said. “We weren’t planning to lose Seb this window. He’s done great for us, because he has won us a few games recently by his goals, so we wish him well.
“I think it's a really good move for him to go to Ajax. We felt it was the right thing to do.
“Robert Snodgrass was coming out of contract in the summer and with us having Andriy Yarmolenko and Jarrod Bowen playing in a similar position, it made it something that we wanted to help him with.
“Snoddy has been fantastic for the Club. He’s a great character and he’s great around the club, so we didn’t want to lose him for those reasons, but also at this moment in time I couldn’t guarantee we could give him a contract for the new year. So, we felt the right thing to do, the fair thing to do, was to allow him to move on.”
As England undergoes a third lockdown, in a further attempt to quell rising COVID-19 cases across the country, Moyes believes football is undertaking a huge responsibility in helping to keep supporters entertained, which includes adhering to stringent protocols with everyone's safety and wellbeing in mind.
He added: “My real feeling is that football is playing such a big part of a lot of people’s lives. Unfortunately, everybody is at home at the moment and we’re in a lockdown, so I think football is helping many people.
“We chose to come back last year because we thought it was the right thing to do, to get football back. From that point of view, I’m happy football is back. But we have to remember that the players are the ones taking risks every week. They continue playing and then they go back to their families. Even though they are tested, and we are all tested regular, it’s still a big risk to take part and travel.
“We all know what the protocols are, and we all know we need to be ever vigilant. I do understand the players are in a position where we have to make sure they’re doing it right. What they’re trying to do is put on performances for the supporters and people watching the games at home.”