- by Staff Writer
- Tuesday, 30th November 2021
David Moyes admits Aaron Cresswell is a major doubt heading into Wednesday night's Premier League with Brighton & Hove Albion.West Ham's full back was replaced midway through the second half of Sunday's 2-1 defeat at Manchester City after colliding with a goal post - and Moyes says it will be touch and go as to whether he manages to recover in time to face the Seagulls at the London Olympic Stadium.
"We've got a doubt about Aaron Cresswell," Moyes told reporters when asked about the defender's condition during his pre-match press conference. "But he's been out today so we're hopeful that he's not too bad. We'll see how he is."
As well as having problems at left back, Moyes goes into the game with something of a dilemma over who to start in the opposite side. Which Ben Johnson has been performing admirably in recent weeks Vladimir Coufal, who lost his spot when injured is chomping at the bit to return to the first team against Brighton.
"Ben's a great boy to work with and he has had to wait because we have a few right-backs at the moment," mused the boss. "I wouldn't say he's been lucky, but he got his opportunity through a couple injuries and he's come in and shown us what he can do.
"We've been really pleased with Ben. He needs to keep going for his development, he needs to keep it up and keep the standards high. He had a really good game against Raheem Sterling as he did again here at the London Stadium when we played them in the cup as well. So I have to say 'well done Ben' as he has started the season really well.
"What happens sometimes is you get a chance, you get an opportunity. I say to all the young players that if you get that opportunity you have got to try and keep hold of the jersey. Sometimes you need a couple of games.
"Ben got it because of injuries to Vladimir [Coufal] and Ryan [Fredericks] at the time and he's taken it. He's certainly earned his position and the chance to get that jersey."
One player who is certain to start on Wednesday however however is Declan Rice, who went on record earlier in the week regarding his desire to play Champions League football. And Moyes welcomed the challenge, suggesting that even being able to speak of West Ham and that level of football in the same sentence was an indication of how far the team has come in the last 18 months.
"It is a message to us all," replied Moyes when asked to offer his thoughts on Rice's comments.
"We've been here two years. Two years ago, we had to avoid relegation in the last nine games after lockdown. We've done it and now you're talking about how we want a team that's in the Champions League.
"So that's the difference. That's the change in the mentality. That's a change in the way the players are thinking and the positivity we've got around the place.
"I've got a really good team and I'm enjoying working with them. I'm enjoying challenging them to get better. I think we can play better than we're playing, I've said that a few times, but I think at this present time we certainly can. So I'm hopeful of lifting it up again and getting back playing very well again."
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