Vladimír Coufal: We’re back to winning ways now

While the contest itself was not the most aesthetically pleasing, Vladimír Coufal feels the key aspect of West Ham United’s win over Watford on Tuesday was precisely that: they won.

The Irons went into Tuesday’s fixture off the back of successive Premier League defeats for just the fifth time since the beginning of last season, 2020/21.

But true to that form, Coufal and his teammates delivered a display of gristle and determination to ground out an important 1-0 win at London Stadium, courtesy of Jarrod Bowen’s deflected effort.

The Hammers’ No5 reiterated to West Ham TV at the final whistle the importance of getting back into the winning habit, especially as it elevated the Hammers to fourth in the Premier League table.

Coufal also took the opportunity to dedicate the victory to young lsla Caton, who passed away on 25 January at the age of seven, five years after being diagnosed with the rare child cancer neuroblastoma. Both West Ham and Watford players and followers took part in tributes on Tuesday evening.

Coufal noted: “Of course, it was important [to win] because we lost our last two Premier League games, so we are back in the winning way now, and also it was so important because it was a victory for our little princess: for Isla. 

“We are so grateful we won today. It wasn’t the best performance, but we have three points, a clean sheet and we scored one goal also. The support was very good again, and we are so grateful to be back in the winning way.

“If we are back in the fourth position, it’s great news. I think it will be more important to finish in the top four positions at the end of the season.

“Especially in the changing room, we are trying to be one big family. We trust each other. We are playing for one another. We want to sometimes play better football, but the most important thing is that we are able to win.”

Vladimír Coufal

The fixtures keep on coming thick and fast for the Hammers in a busy 2021/22 campaign, with a trip to face Leicester City at the King Power Stadium up next on Sunday afternoon.

For Coufal, the match will mark a return to the ground at which it all began for the 29-year-old in the Claret and Blue of West Ham.

In October 2020, just three days after completing his signing from Slavia Prague, Coufal made his full Hammers bow – and as debut days go, it was hard to top.

Coufal helped his side shut out a team which had scored twelve goals in the opening three Premier League fixtures, while contributing to an impressive counter-attacking performance in a memorable 3-0 victory in Leicestershire.

The Czech Republic full-back has since featured in 3-2 and 4-1 home victories last season and this season respectively against the Foxes, and hopes to create more happy memories come the weekend.

“It’s a long time ago now!” Coufal smiled. 

“It was my first game and in this time, we have played against Leicester twice at home, so I will be back again. I will be excited to be there again and hopefully it will be the same result.

“I think it will be a different kind of game. Leicester will want to be dominant with the ball and have a high percentage of possession. 

“They will try to play a different style of football than Watford did, so we have to prepare for it and we will go there for three points.”