David Moyes: Our squad, Declan Rice, Roy Hodgson and Watford

David Moyes is anticipating a reinvigorated Watford side to form the opposition on Tuesday evening, when the Hornets travel to London Stadium under newly-appointed manager Roy Hodgson.

After battling through a challenging Emirates FA Cup fourth-round tie with Kidderminster Harriers over the weekend, Moyes feels that Watford will present another tough test in the Premier League on home soil.

The Hammers will be seeking to kick-start their league season after consecutive defeats in January, but according to Moyes can expect challenging opposition in the face of Watford players placed 18th in the table - but with a point to prove...

All of our squad players have been absolutely brilliant in every European game.

I think we were one of the only teams who, except for the last group-stage game, did unbelievably.

This week in the FA Cup it was difficult for many teams. Maybe it was because it was after a week’s break, or maybe it was just the way the FA Cup was, but ultimately my whole squad have been fantastic for me this season, they really have been.

All those players have been involved in European games and done a great job for us in the group stages. They've all contributed. When the chance comes to play well again, I hope they do.

We didn't play so well in the Cup game, but if you look around a lot of the ties, there were a lot of performances which didn't match the way everybody thought the games would go.

We’ve got lots of trust in them which we need in the run-in. We want them to keep fit, strong, and be ready when their opportunity comes.

David Moyes and his players

As an individual Declan Rice is a really improving young man who's gaining a lot of experience and getting better. 

He learns an awful lot from Mark Noble. He should look at Harry Kane and Harry Maguire and all the senior players he’s involved with with England and take as much from them as he can, because he’s got a great chance of going on to become a future England captain. He should look at them.

We’re really pleased to have him, and he’s a really impressive young man.

He's a really important player for West Ham. He’s someone we value greatly, and you can see what he means to the team. He's a really good individual and we're enjoying having him.

I don’t know if I’ll still be managing when I’m 74 – but I don’t know if Roy Hodgson would’ve said the same when he was 58!

All I can say is about Roy is that his love for the game is incredible, and to have any level of success or longevity you have to have a huge love of the game. Roy has once again shown he's got that.

If there were anybody I felt who could help Watford stay up, I think Roy Hodgson would be the name I'd pick. Obviously Big Sam [Allardyce] would be another one.

Roy, with his experience, will give them every chance. He’s a really good coach and someone who's managed at all different levels. Watford have given themselves a really good chance of staying up.

It’s not strange that Roy’s back in football because he's been a brilliant football man. Coming back at his age, I don't know if I could ever do that!

He's got a great passion, a love of the game and a drive that he wants to stay out on the pitch. If anybody's good at it, Roy's very good at it – his organisation, his coaching, his planning, so it’ll give Watford a really good chance of staying up.

It just shows you how much experience matters in football, whether it be as a player or as a manager. So many clubs now have got very good young players, but also need experience around them, and lots of clubs have got very good young managers on the up, but there’s also some with very good experienced managers.

Roy’s certainly in the category of “very good” and also “very experienced”.

Roy Hodgson and David Moyes

 Every team's got a quick turnaround game in the Premier League and Watford are ours. 

We played them about a month ago and got a really positive result, but since then a lot has changed at Watford: they've brought in new players and a new manager. 

We're coming up against a different Watford team and we have to be ready and prepared. We’ll try and get ourselves as organised and try to understand as much as we can.

We've only seen Roy being in charge for one game, so it's not easy to completely understand, but overall they've got roughly the same group of players, albeit with three or four new players from the January window.

The new manager coming in probably changes their style. We've played against Roy's teams many times over the years, but that doesn't mean to say it'll be exactly the same.

We'll understand Roy a bit, and the Watford players we played against a month ago, but we saw a slightly different Watford team who went to Burnley and got a good draw the other night.

I think Roy's a really good coach and his teams are really well-organised. 

Over the years his teams – wherever he’s been, Crystal Palace, Fulham or Liverpool – have always been really well drilled and well organised, so we'll expect Watford to be the same.

Right away he’s made an impact with a 0-0 draw at Burnley. When you're not doing so well, the first thing you have to do is stop conceding goals. That’s key to it, because scoring goals is never easy. 

You have to try and make sure that defensively you’re strong, and in his first game, he’s got them organised and they got a good clean sheet.


I think a few weeks ago people were already beginning to draw conclusions as to who would be involved at the bottom of the table, and had it down to three or four teams. 

The bottom team were Norwich, who've had a couple of wins, and Newcastle have had a win as well, so there are just signs those teams are trying to get a wee bit better.

We know that against Watford we’ll have to play very well to get a result. Roy Hodgson will give them a great chance of avoiding relegation. We were in that position at West Ham a few years ago and it's a horrible position to be in. It makes every game about getting some points to get out of the situation. 

I've got to say I'm glad it's not me who's there, but I have been before and it’s not nice.

I’m glad that people are talking about West Ham being in the challenge for the top four.

That says something about where we’ve come to. Even last year, we were probably never talked about in those terms; we were probably talked about making a run for Europe.

It shows there’s been improvement and we’re making some strides. We need to keep playing really well. We’ve got 15 league games to go and we have to keep playing well.

The first one’s against Watford tomorrow evening, where we hope we can take three points and keep going and keep hanging onto the shirttails of the teams above us. 

The team have played really well for long periods of the season. We’ve had little bits of ups and downs throughout the season, but no more than anybody else.

I’m looking forward to challenging again throughout the second half of the season.