Manager David Moyes speaks to West Ham TV

David Moyes says West Ham United are looking forward to an exciting second half of the 2021/22 season as the Hammers prepare to return to action following the winter break.

Moyes' squad resume in fifth place in the Premier League table, in the UEFA Europa League round of 16 and kick-off with an Emirates FA Cup fifth-round trip to Kidderminster Harriers on Saturday.

Speaking to West Ham TV, the manager explained the Club's collective intention to follow a clear strategy to build in a steady and consistent manager, laying the foundations for sustained improvement.

He also discussed the January transfer window and confirmed the Club had made ambitious attempts to sign players for record fees, while repeating his view that he only wants to recruit players who will improve his team...

 

After the winter break, it’s good to get everybody back together again…

“It certainly is. It’s great to get them all back in. We’ve got Saïd Benrahma around the place and one or two others back in training, so it’s good. They all enjoyed their break and had the best part of a week of, so hopefully they’re all refreshed and ready to go again and hopefully it’ll have done them the world of good.”

 

There is a good vibe among the squad, too…

“They’re in great spirits. We know how well they’ve done in the first half of the season, so they should be in good spirits and we’re going to try and go into the second half of the season really positive. We’ve hopefully freshened them up a bit now, so we’re looking forward to the remaining part of the season.”

 

It was a late night on Monday…

“It was a late night. I would have loved to have said we’d got everything done and dusted early doors but, look, it wasn’t for the want of trying, that’s for sure. West Ham supporters can be reassured that we were really ambitious in what we were trying to do. We were really ambitious in trying to get good players and players who could help us and make a difference. We’ve also got Jarrod Bowen and it would be very difficult to get a better back-up to Micky Antonio than Jarrod. We were always looking to try and find replacements in several areas, but it just became pretty difficult in the end and we missed out on one or two late on. Overall, all I can say is that the Board have been fantastic. We probably made three record transfer bids from the Club in this January window and let’s be fair, January is never really a great time. We’ve been quite good in January in the main and in the last few Januaries we’ve been here we’ve signed players and sort of done quite well, but this one for some reason became tougher. I also believe it’s probably been tougher because we’re looking at a much different level of player now and trying to attract some of the top players throughout Europe.”

 

David Moyes speaks to West Ham TV

 

You’re not playing a video game, either, you’re using real money and a lot of it…

“Well, I think that's one thing I want to do is I want to make sure that the supporters at West Ham  can trust that I'm trying to spend the money wisely and we're trying to bring in good players but also, we don't want to bring people in who I think are only here just to pad it up and maybe makes everybody in the media think that we've done a bit of good business. The idea in this job is to try and sign good players.”

 

And that money's still there for the summer...

“Look, we're building and we're growing really well. I think what we’re really looking forward to now is what's coming ahead of us in the second half of the season. I see nearly every game being a Cup final. I hope we’re in a Cup final somewhere along the road, but I really do think that we've got nearly every game now will be a Cup final because it’s either meaning we’re challenging for places in Europe or we’re trying to get through in the FA Cup or trying to get through in the Europa League. So, I see the second half of the season being really exciting for us.”

 

‘Exciting’ is the word, isn’t it? We’re all excited going to the stadium these days!

“I think team are showing that as well. I’m hoping that the players can get right back to their top form. Obviously, we've just recently got Cressy and Kurt back, which has given us a boost as well. We’ve got Saïd back from the African Nations as well, so we're very close to full tilt at the moment and Angelo is the only one who we’re really missing. So hopefully we can keep them all fit and keep them in good form.”

 

Jarrod Bowen celebrates scoring against Genk

 

You said the word ‘trust’ and your track record suggests we should trust you and your methods…

“I would hope so now because we've brought in some good players. I think we want to do it again, we want to keep it going. I said last year, actually, when we were successful last year, I thought sometimes you can have a not quite so easy in your second season to, to do it again. If anything, we've come back stronger and look better. So, we have to say that that's been good. In the first half of the season, we've been good. So, the job now for me is to keep the players fresh and sharp in training, prepared, ready for every game. If I can do that, I think we'll have a chance of winning a lot of games and that's what we try and do. I've got lots of trust in the players to play different players and different teams in Europe and in the Cups as well, and I hope they’ve got lots of trust in me as well. So hopefully that's building all throughout the Club as well now.”

 

Under your methods, we can say with our own eyes, players get better…

“I hope that's the case. I mean, I think part of being a manager is that you don't always have the best players, but your job is to try to make them best they can be. So, I see it as my challenge to try and get them the best they can be, try and squeeze every little bit of the of the orange and get everything out of them. And I think on most occasions we are. We're trying to get everything we can. We’ve got some players who've been in stunning form, in sparkling form, scoring goals, playing well. And I think we're on the right tracks to building a good team.”

 

Pre-match light show at London Stadium

 

And we’re all together…

“Very much so. I have to have to say, going back, everybody in the Club has been brilliant, they really have been. I have to say there's been some things said about the Board, but the Board in this transfer window have been brilliant. They have backed me and tried to support me in all the moves. I've got to say, the work Karren Brady's done to try and see if we could get some deals and get things happening, she's been really good. David Sullivan has been really supportive, Daniel Křetínský has just come in, and David Gold, they've all been really good in helping me over the window so it's always good when your owners are helping you and trusting you as well. We know we’re growing we're going in the right direction and hopefully we can keep that going.”

 

We’ve got a FA Cup tie, four Premier League games and the UEFA Europa League round of 16 draw to look forward to this month…

“I think we're really looking forward to them all. I mean, we can only ever take one game at a time, and I really want to stay strong in the Premier League and I'm determined to try and hang in and see what we can do right to the end. Because I believe that the League is your bread and butter and if you do well, then it shows you've got level of consistency and you're doing a lot of things right most weeks. Would I love to win a Cup? I certainly would. I think having good Cup runs is really important for the supporters and I think it's important for the Club as well. But, you know, everybody wants a good Cup run and we do as well. I think we had a pretty good run in the Carabao Cup, albeit we wanted to a bit further than we did. But we want to start getting near the semi-finals and finals and winning Cups if we can. And I think the European competition is a really big, big thing for us because I think we're all excited about the thought of the draw. I mean, there is not a bad team left in the competition at the moment. And we've got European football in March to look forward to, so there's a lot of things we can really get ready for and be excited about.”

 

UEFA Europa League round of 16 tickets