David Moyes suggested West Ham will learn from their previous mistakes going forward in the transfer market, and hailed a star who has taken his surprise opportunity with both hands this season.
The Hammers have taken yet another stride forward under the Scotsman this season. Moyes’ side currently sit fourth in the Premier League table and breezed through their Europa League group, securing top spot with a game to spare.
They take on Brighton on Wednesday night with hopes high of capitalising on the Seagulls’ poor form. Graham Potter’s men are winless in their last eight in the league.
And speaking in his Tuesday press conference, Moyes was asked about the progress West Ham have made with his second spell at the club nearing two full years.
“It’s right up there with the best.,” said Moyes (via Football London).
“I think the big thing I’ve got is a really good team – a group of players who are competitive, working on changing the mentality, and I think when it comes to 28 December, I’ll have been here two years.
“The turnaround the players have made in that time has been great, so they deserve huge credit for what they’ve done.
“I’m still trying to build the club. 18 months at the moment isn’t a long period to be at any club. But the players – and us as a staff – have made decent progress.”
Cautious West Ham transfer policy hinted
Moyes was then asked about the club’s transfer plans. West Ham have been guilty of frittering money away on expensive flops in recent years on the likes of Felipe Anderson and Sebastien Haller.
Moyes hinted the club’s approach in January and beyond will be a rather more careful and considered one.
West Ham United are interested in a deal for Hertha Berlin's Niklas Stark
West Ham are interested in completing a deal for Hertha Berlin's Niklas Stark, who has twice been capped by Germany.
“I think if it was as easy as buying players we would all do it. It’s not as easy as buying players,” said the Scot.
“West Ham have bought players in the past but if you do not get that right it does not always work. You need to buy the right players and they need time to settle in.
“We want to progress and challenge at the top. It is not as easy as just spending money.”
Moyes hails surprise West Ham package
Moyes was then asked about Ben Johnson. The right-back has kept the impressive Vladimir Coufal out of the eleven in recent weeks and has taken his surprise chance with both hands.
Predictably, Moyes was overjoyed with the 21-year-old academy graduate.
“He’s a great boy to work with and he’s had to wait,” said Moyes. “He got his opportunity and he’s been great. We’ve been really pleased with Ben and he had a really good game against Raheem Sterling. He’s started the season really well.
“Sometimes an opportunity comes – you say it to any player in the squad. Sometimes you need a couple of games, and he’s taken it. He’s earned the position and the chance to get that jersey.”
Finally, Moyes allayed fears left-back Aaron Cresswell will face a lengthy spell on the sidelines after being substituted due to injury against Manchester City last time out. In doing so, he hinted the defender could be in contention to face Brighton on Wednesday night.
“We’ve got a doubt about Aaron Cresswell, but he’s been out today so we’re hopeful that he’s not too bad. We’ll see how he is,” concluded Moyes.