David Moyes admits West Ham playing on an artificial pitch against Silkeborg is a concern

·2-min read
David Moyes admits West Ham playing on an artificial pitch against Silkeborg is a concern

David Moyes has admitted some of his decisions for West Ham’s clash against Silkeborg will be impacted by the artificial surface.

The Hammers travel to Denmark for their second Europa Conference League group-stage match, after getting their campaign up and running with victory over FCSB at the London Stadium last week.

Silkeborg play on a plastic pitch and with the likes of Craig Dawson and Aaron Cresswell only just returning from injury, they may not be risked. Moyes knows it is not a surface that many players are hugely confident playing on.

“It’s given me some thoughts,” Moyes said. “We respect that it’s an artificial pitch, we have some decisions to make.

He added: “As a player, I played on a plastic pitch for three years. In modern football, I don’t see the top level players really wanting to play on astro turf pitches and I completely respect it.

“I’m from Scotland and I know how important astro turf pitches are.”

Thursday night’s clash is West Ham’s second trip to Denmark of the season, after they beat Viborg in the play-off round to reach the group stage.

Moyes believes that visit last month has helped the players to feel even more comfortable ahead of facing Silkeborg, even if he is frustrated that the match is not taking place earlier in the evening.

“I think all it’s done is that we’re familiar with the surroundings in that we stayed close by to where we are now,” Moyes said.

“The travel has been very easy from London. Last year we mainly had games that kicked-off at 6 o’clock now it’s 8 o’clock which isn’t good for us because it affects the travel back. We’ll have to get used to that.

“Silkeborg play a really good style of football and I thought Viborg did too. That’s why you want to be in Europe, to face those different styles.”

Thilo Kehrer has been involved in all three of West Ham’s Europa Conference League matches so far this season, quickly setting in at his new club following his summer move.

The 25-year-old sees the Hammers as an increasingly established side on the European stage, with the big spending in the transfer window only helping maintain the club’s upward trajectory.

“The club is getting bigger and it’s a really interesting project,” Kehrer said.

“The team, the coaching staff, the ideas that are here and the values that are shown – those were the most important reasons for me.”

“I think it’s a name that gets bigger and bigger. You see the signings that came in the summer and the last season the club had, it’s very positive.”