David Moyes believes his West Ham United team are well-placed to bounce back when they take on Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday.
The Hammers head to the South Coast looking for a response to last weekend’s narrow defeat to Everton and begin the final week of the season strongly.
With European football to play for – and the top four still within reach – Moyes says his team only need to draw on their experiences from the season to date when they line-up at the Amex Stadium.
The boss faced the media in his weekly press conference on Friday afternoon, when he discussed the challenge the Seagulls will pose, team news, Premier League Player of the Month Jesse Lingard’s fine form and more.
Brighton always give you a difficult game but we’re confident we can bounce back…
I’ve found the games against Brighton have always been tough. They’ve done a great job there at Brighton, they’ve got a really good recruitment set-up, they’ve got a good group of players, their style is very good and I think everyone is well aware of that.
I think Brighton will cause us problems, as they have done with all teams. I think they’re a good side to watch as well.
I don’t think we ever really get too down because we’ve not really been in a position to do so. In most of the season we’ve not lost too many games back-to-back, we’ve kept it going and come back from games we’ve lost so we’re hoping to do the same.
All the other teams are good opposition and they’re hard games we’re playing, so we know we’ll have to play well. But we have been and for the majority of the season the players have been very good, resilient, showing great character when they’ve had to in games – toughed out some of them but also played very well in many of the other ones too.
We’ve responded well in training this week…
I think we’ve responded well. We were disappointed that we didn’t at least get something from the game against Everton – I think we deserved that, but we didn’t and we moved on quickly because there was a lot in our performance that was very good.
What do I demand from the team in these last three games? I demand that we continue in the same vein that we’ve been playing. I actually think we played really well against Everton – with the ball we were as good as we’ve been, and we were the same at Burnley.
We created lots of chances there, not so much in the Everton game, so what I’m hoping for is the same style of football, but if we can get the number of opportunities we had against Burnley and convert more of them, then we’d be getting very close to what we want. That’s what I’m demanding from the players.
I’m hoping we’ll have some of the injured players back, but I won’t be giving anything away…
Some of those players are doing well and some of them aren’t doing so well. I’m hoping we get some of them back for the game but I couldn’t be quite sure yet. Hopefully by the end of the day we’ll know more.
I’d rate Declan’s chances the same as Cresswell, Ogbonna and all the other ones as well. I wouldn’t rate them any differently as I wouldn’t want to give anything away regarding people’s injuries.
Jesse Lingard more than deserves his Player of the Month award…
I think he joined a team in good spirits and a good mood and doing a lot of good things. Jesse’s added to that and given us another dimension.
We were playing well, we just needed to try and add something. We couldn’t get a centre forward in January, we got Jesse to give us another option because he can play in two or three positions.
So, we’ve enjoyed having him and I’m sure he’s enjoying being here as well because he’s giving a lot back. He’s been back in the England squad, and I hope we see him go on to make the Euros, and then in time we’ll find out whether Jesse will be a Manchester United player or if he’ll play for somebody else.
We want European football and we continue to push for the top four…
I think we’ve got a better chance now that what we had at the start of the season. I think we’re in a better position now, it still looks like a distant dream, but we’ll keep dreaming and keep trying to do it.
If you’d given me any form of European football at the start I’d have had your hand off so so that’s what we’re going to try and achieve.
I think Graham Potter is doing a really good job at Brighton…
There’s no doubt that Graham Potter will have a long career in management, that’s for sure, and because of that you’ll have your ups and you’ll have your downs. We all do.
I’m enjoying it because we’re winning at West Ham right now, I’m enjoying it because the players are performing every week, and I could never question how they’ve been this season.
We will be asked a lot of questions by Brighton because Graham has got his team playing really well and has done all season. It wouldn’t surprise me if you were talking about Brighton in the same breath as West Ham this year, because Brighton have done a lot of good things.