David Moyes has revealed Ben Johnson has recovered from a thigh strain and is in contention to feature in West Ham United’s UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg away to Eintracht Frankfurt.
Johnson missed out on the home Premier League match to Arsenal on Sunday due to injury but the manager says the Academy graduate is back in contention for Thursday’s huge European test in Germany.
Moyes, speaking in his pre-match press conference at the Frankfurt Waldstadion, also revealed that centre-back Issa Diop had made an ‘incredible recovery’ from the ankle injury he sustained last month.
Craig Dawson will also be available for the Irons after serving a one-game suspension in the match versus Arsenal at the weekend.
“At the moment, everybody is fit,” Moyes said. “Ben Johnson had a thigh strain but he seems to be okay at the moment, so he’ll come back into the squad.
“Issa Diop had rolled his ankle but he has made an incredible recovery. Is he absolutely 100 per cent? Maybe not, but we’re at the stage of the season where we needing to maybe take one or two risks and get him back in the squad.”
With the Irons trailing 2-1 from the first leg at London Stadium, Moyes will be looking for players like Jarrod Bowen to perform at the heights they have set themselves throughout the 2021/22 season.
The manager hailed the forward’s development throughout the campaign and added that, despite the incredible progression seen by his side over the last nine months, he feels there is even more to come from this West Ham team.
“Jarrod's development has been incredible,” Moyes continued. “When you talk about the goals he’s scored and his assists, we’re actually now talking about someone who is probably on the verge of getting called up for his country. That’s the way it looks to me, and I think that’s the big thing; that we’ve got players doing that.
“I do think I’ve played down the team a lot because we’ve still got a lot to do. There are a lot of nice things said about our league position, but I'm still saying I’ve got a lot more to do to make this as successful as we want it to be. I've got to find a way of driving those players onto another level and making sure we're in a final or trying to be in a final.
“If I don't do that, we've got to make sure we're fifth or sixth in the league so we can come through this process again. This is West Ham trying to grow.
“Our league games have just slid away a little bit, but as you can see when you have had Sevilla, Lyon and now Eintracht Frankfurt but it's quite difficult to concentrate on the Thursday game and Sunday game and get them correct, so let's hope we can do something tomorrow night.”