Moyes: West Ham taking small steps
PUBLISHED: 18:30 15 December 2017
PA Wire/PA Images
West Ham have taken the first small step in their battle to drag themselves away from the bottom of the Premier League, according to manager David Moyes.
The Irons followed up the 1-0 win over reigning champions Chelsea by securing another clean sheet in the goalless draw against Arsenal at the London Stadium on Wednesday night.
Those positive results have moved West Ham onto 14 points, now behind Crystal Palace and West Brom only by goal difference and just a point away from Newcastle, who are 16th.
Moyes takes West Ham to Stoke on Saturday, where a win would see them leapfrog their hosts and continue the upward momentum.
“We’ve definitely felt positive energy and an uplift around the place these last couple of days. Anybody who beats Chelsea and gets a result against Arsenal, especially with the position we’re in, it’s a real positive,” said Moyes, who took over following the departure of Slaven Bilic last month.
“We’ve still got to climb the table, so we’ve got to win an awful lot more games. We can pat ourselves on the back and say how well the players have done, but overall we’ve still got a lot of games to go and we’ve got to win them.”
Moyes added at a press conference, as quoted on the club’s official website: “We want to play much better, we know that, but first and foremost we are taking small steps and the first was to stop conceding goals. That’s the start.”
Moyes, however, warned his squad not to throw away all their recent hard work by failing to produce the required performance at the bet365 Stadium.
“At the moment, we need results. Stoke are in a better position than us, so we have got to try and climb the table. It’ll be bit by bit,” the Scot said.
“Talk can be cheap, though, and we’ve got to show it. I’m sure the players will. I’m confident we can go there and get a result.”
Striker Marko Arnautovic is set to return to his former club for the first time since a £20million summer move south.
Moyes, though, is not expecting the Austria, who scored against Chelsea, to let the occasion get to him.
“Marko Arnautovic has proved his worth in recent games. His work-rate has been terrific and that’s the first thing we want from him,” the West Ham boss said.
“Everybody at Stoke knows him and know how good a player he is, and that’s why he got a move from Stoke to West Ham and that’s why Stoke got a really good price for him as well, because they know what he is capable of.”
Defender Winston Reid serves a one-game ban after picking up his fifth booking of the season against Arsenal in midweek.
Midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate is back in training following a hamstring injury, so could be in line for a return while forward Edimilson Fernandes will be assessed on an ankle problem and defender Jose Fonte (ankle) also continues his rehabilitation.