Ben Johnson wants to ‘repay the faith’ shown in him by manager David Moyes whenever he takes to the pitch for West Ham United.
The full-back has developed and flourished under Moyes’ guidance, making all but one of his 41 first-team appearances since the Scot returned to the Club in December 2019.
After playing 19 times last season, scoring his maiden Premier League goal against Brighton & Hove Albion in December 2020, Johnson has been heavily involved this term, starting 16 matches, ten of which have ended in victories.
One of those wins came at Manchester United in the Carabao Cup third round in September and, ahead of West Ham’s return to Old Trafford in the Premier League on Saturday, the 21-year-old spoke warmly about his relationship with the manager, and Moyes’ positive impact on him and his teammates.
For me, I feel like the manager has a lot of faith in me and I have a lot of confidence in him on the training pitch and in games
“I’ve not really known the manager for that long, only a couple of seasons, but some of the lads had him prior and he kept us in the Premier League then, then kept us in the Premier League when he came back for a second stint and all the lads have a great relationship with him,” Johnson confirmed.
“When he came in, he was assertive, and he knew what he wanted and what he could get out of every single player and he wasn’t willing to negate that.
“For me, I feel like he has a lot of faith in me and I have a lot of confidence in him on the training pitch and in games. He wants everyone to do well and for me to play well, so he’s certainly on me if I make a mistake and that’s something you want as a player, someone who sets high standards and keeps people on their toes.
“He’s been great with me and given me the opportunity in games to show what I can do. He’s put me in different positions and that shows real faith and is testament to him and to me as well that I can play in different positions and start for his side.
“I just want to repay the faith and put in good performances for him and for me.”
One way in which Johnson would love to repay that faith is by helping the Hammers win their trophy since lifting the UEFA Intertoto Cup in 1999, and first piece of competitive silverware since winning the Championship Play-Off final in 2012.
While the Club’s Carabao Cup run may be over and the Premier League title beyond us, West Ham are still in the Emirates FA Cup and UEFA Europa League, and the No31 is eyeing an historic success this season.
“Every club aims to win silverware,” he confirmed. “We were very disappointed that we got knocked out in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup, especially after we beat Manchester United and Manchester City in the first two rounds. It was probably a loss that we took a bit deeper than usual.
“We want to continue to compete with the bigger teams in the league, the top four teams, because I feel we can compete. On paper, our squad is there or thereabouts but, of course, it’s putting it into practice and being consistent over a 38-game season and that’s what the best teams do.
“When they’re not playing so well, they can grind out results against teams with different setups and I feel that’s where we can improve. It’s not when we’re playing the Liverpools or Man Citys, but when we’re playing with other teams who may set up differently and give us the ball and let us have it, so it’s difficult to go into every game and get the result but that’s something we’re trying to do and what we’re working on every day on the training training pitch, to work out our opponents’ weaknesses.
“Who knows how far West Ham could go? To be honest, hopefully we can try and win some silverware. We’re in the fourth round of the FA Cup so that would be brilliant, but it’s going to be difficult.”