David Moyes has challenged his West Ham United players to carry the momentum from the end of last season into the new campaign after wins in their first two pre-season friendlies.
The manager oversaw a Hammers side that beat Ipswich Town 4-1 at Portman Road on Tuesday, while first-team coach Alan Irvine took a team of players to Wycombe Wanderers, where they were victorious 5-1.
Having found the net in some big wins towards the end of the 2019/20 Premier League season, Moyes was delighted the two West Ham teams continued to score goals and now wants to see his side take that form forward.
The manager also explained that the quick turnaround ahead of the new campaign prompted his decision to send two different squads for two friendlies; allowing a maximum number of minutes for players.
We want to build on our momentum. We finished last season well and both teams played well and picked up and scored some goals.
“It’s two good results for the teams but, ultimately it’s only pre-season and it doesn’t add up, and you don’t get any prizes for it,” Moyes explained to West Ham TV. “But we want to build on our momentum. We finished last season well and both teams played well and picked up and scored some goals.
“I wanted to quickly give most of our players the full 90 minutes if I could, so we weren’t having 45 minutes, then 60 and then 90. I wanted to get to it as quickly as I could. We’ve also got some international players who are away that probably needed 90 minutes as well, some more than others.
“We also had some players who didn’t play as much at the end of last season and I wanted to give them a chance to play and feel like they got the opportunity to show what they could do.”
Sebastien Haller’s hat-trick and a headed effort from Tomas Soucek accounted for West Ham’s four goals at Ipswich and Moyes was happy with how his team played, both as individuals and as a unit.
The manager also made special mention of Grady Diangana, who made his first Hammers outing since his return from a season on loan at West Bromwich Albion.
He continued: “There was some very good performance. Seb got three and he probably could have got five or six. Grady had some good moments. We’re pleased and, overall, it was good.
“Several young players also got opportunities to play as well, and we had to play one or two out of position because of one or two injuries. From that point of view, they all got some minutes.”
Up next is a home test for West Ham, against Brentford, and Moyes is looking forward to seeing how his team step up against the established Championship side at the weekend.
“I think the difference is now we’ll step it up again,” Moyes added: “We play Brentford on Saturday in another friendly and that takes it up another level. We’re trying to get better and make sure we’re going to play well and score goals and do a lot of right things.
“There were a few things we didn’t do well today as well, so we’re not getting carried away with ourselves, but that’s the first game for the players.”