Tuesday 30 Nov
Updated Tuesday 30 Nov 15:40
First Team

David Moyes: Brighton, Ben Johnson and the team’s mentality shift

 

David Moyes has backed his West Ham United team to get back on track in the Premier League when they face Brighton & Hove Albion on Wednesday evening.

The Hammers will be looking to bounce back from Sunday’s narrow defeat at Manchester City and gain the three points they need to keep themselves in the top four of the table.

Brighton arrive in east London ninth in the table, four points behind the Hammers, so the boss is expecting an entertaining game for the Hammers’ home crowd – and one he hopes for the right outcome from.

 

Brighton will pose a test as they always do.

I expect a really tough one because every team that plays Brighton will tell you that they can cause problems. They’re a really good footballing team who play with a really good style and have made a great start to the season.

It’s not for me to judge the job Graham Potter is doing, but I can only say from a distance and being a fellow manager that I think he’s done a really good one. He’s at a good club who have gone about their work really well and if you’d said to me last season who I thought might be a tip to challenge it would be Brighton and I think they have done. They’ve started the season really well.

 

David Moyes at training

 

The start we’ve made ourselves is right up there with the best I’ve had.

I’ve been at some clubs who might have started slightly better and there have been clubs who have started worse, but I think the big thing I’ve got is a really good team. I think I’ve got a group of players who are competitive. We’re working on changing the mentality and I think when it comes to 28 December or so this year I’d have been here two years and you have to think the turnaround the players have made in that period has been great. 

We’ve added some players to it, which has made a difference, but overall it’s mainly the same group of players so they deserve huge credit for what they’ve done. Let’s be fair, we’re still trying to build the club and grow the club. Eighteen months at the moment isn’t a long period to be at any one club, but I’d hope we’d look at it and say that the players, and us as a staff as well, have made decent progress.

 

Declan Rice being quoted this week that he wants to play Champions League football and he wants it at West Ham shows that shift in mentality.

It’s a message to us all and what it is, is what I was talking about – two years ago we had to avoid relegation in the last nine games after lockdown. We did it and now we’re talking about wanting to be a team who’s in the Champions League. That’s the difference, that’s the change in mentality, in the way the players are thinking and the positivity we’ve got around the place. 

We’ve got a really good team, I enjoy working with them, I enjoy challenging them to get better. I think we can play better than we’re playing, so I’m looking forward to them lifting it all again and let’s get back to playing very well again.

 

David Moyes and Ben Johnson

 

Ben Johnson has certainly grasped his opportunity since coming into the side.

He’s a great boy to work with. He’s had to wait because we’ve had a few right backs at the moment. He got his opportunity through a couple of injuries and he’s come in and shown what he can do. 

He needs to keep it up and keep his standards high but we’re really pleased with Ben. He had a really good game against Raheem Sterling on Sunday, as he did at home when we played them in the cup as well. I have to say well done to Ben, he’s started the season very well.

Sometimes you need a couple of games and Ben got it because of injuries to Vladimír and Ryan at the time. He’s taken it and certainly earned his position and the chance to get that jersey.

 

We’ve got a set of home games coming up and we need to make them count.

The home atmosphere will help us hugely. We’ve found there is a difference around the stadium and we’re off the back of three away games, so having three home games now hopefully we’ll use it to our advantage. The crowd has been brilliant at the stadium and we’ll need them.

 

Sunday’s loss at Manchester City won’t have hurt our confidence.

The wins and the way we’ve been playing has given us huge belief. I don’t think a defeat at Manchester City will necessarily give us a huge dent. Overall I do think we want to get back on it, we want to get back winning so I take the point and I understand it but if we’re going to continue to be competitive we’re going to have to pick up points, it doesn’t matter where it is.  

I wanted us to compete against the big teams but competing also means winning as well. We competed really well against Liverpool here a few weeks ago and beat them. We competed against Man City but we couldn’t get a result. That will happen in games because we’re just not quite at that level yet, but we want to try and keep pushing for it.