An angry David Moyes went on the offensive after West Ham fell to an unexpected defeat at home to Leeds United, hitting out at the Premier League's decision to make his team play an extra game in midweek.Jack Harrison's hat-trick condemned the Hammers to a first defeat of 2022 - one that Moyes felt was in no small part due to the sheer amount of games his team have been forced to play in recent weeks.
"I think fatigue was a huge factor today," he said, talking during his post-match press conference. "We had Leeds in the cup and in the league game and because of how Leeds play with a high energy game.
"We did not agree with why we had to play Norwich when we did. We missed one game, not by our doing and we were made to go again at this point in the season.
"We had a busy Christmas period like everybody else, like Leeds, but Leeds were not asked to play midweek sd we were. I cannot understand it and it tells me that the people making those decisions do not understand what recovery means and what it means to play games on a regular basis. They're getting that wrong, for sure.
"We had Covid, injuries and a player at the Africa Nations for the Norwich game as well but I wanted us to keep going. It was really tough for us to get back out today. We did not feel the Norwich game should have been pplayed, but they [the Premier League] refused our request [to rearrange it again]. We played and it had an effect today."
Meanwhile Moyes revealed that Kurt Zouma, who was otherwise close to making a first team return had joined the list of Covid casualties at the club - while Tomas Soucek was forced to miss out againa as a result.
"Kurt is only just recovering from Covid," said Moyes. "Tomas could be in contention but as is the case with everybody coming back from Covid, you are not sure of their ability, how they are feeling or what their symptoms are.
"Those things make it very difficult to make a judgment. You also check every day to see if somebody else is going to get it."
And Moyes admitted that a recent bout of Covid appears to have taken its toll on the club's only striker, Michail Antonio. "We noticed he looed tired," said Moyes. But it is difficult when you have to play.
"He is one of our key goalscorers. We were chasing the game from 15 minutes in and it was really difficult to change him. He was out on his legs after the game but again, what can we do?"
Despite the evidence of fatigue, Jarrod Bowen could've saved a point for West Ham in added-on time when he was presented with a golden opportunity to equalise - an effort he instead chested over the bar, much to the dismay of the manager.
"I can't see why he would not head it instead of chest it in," said Moyes. "I can understand if it is a decision between your feet and head - but I cannot see the decision between the chest and your head."
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