David Moyes hails his West Ham coaching team for stepping up: 'I couldn’t praise them enough'

Jack Rosser
·4-min read
POOL/AFP via Getty Images
POOL/AFP via Getty Images

West Ham manager David Moyes has hailed the work of his coaching staff following the "shock" of his positive coronavirus test.

The Hammers boss is now back at work following almost two weeks of self-isolation after contracting Covid-19, with his results landing just 70 minutes before a game against Hull City in the Carabao Cup was due to kick-off.

During his time managing remotely, Alan Irvine - his assistant manager - oversaw back-to-back Premier League wins and clean sheets against Wolves and Leicester to transform West Ham's start to the season.

Moyes has heaped praise on his coaching staff for their handling of the situation following the initial fallout of the Hull game, where Issa Diop and Josh Cullen also tested positive.

"I’m feeling better, much better," Moyes said.

"Certainly, it was a shock when it first happened [the positive test result] before the Hull City game, but I think it’s part of life now. I think we’re all accepting that Covid’s out there.

"We’ve always had provisions if this did happen. When it all started back in March time, we had agreed exactly what we would do if any one of us – me, for example – went into this situation.

"I never hoped it would happen, but the minute it did, we kicked in right away. Alan [Irvine] immediately took over, and we just got on with the job.

Alan Irvine stood in on the touchline for Moyes (Pool via REUTERS)
Alan Irvine stood in on the touchline for Moyes (Pool via REUTERS)

"I’ve got to say that the staff put on amazing training sessions, and it was great to watch. Their training was very good. It was correct for the lead-in to the games they had, and the way we needed to go about things, so I was really pleased with the work we’d done.

"I couldn’t praise the backroom staff – Alan, [Stuart] Pearcey, Kevin [Nolan], Paul [Nevin] or Xavi Valero – enough. They’ve been great.

"When I was bringing them in, I always wanted to have a strong staff. I wanted people I knew I could trust and rely on. If ever there were a period where I had to do that, it was this time, and they haven’t half delivered.

"They’re all experienced, they’ve all had jobs in management at some time, and I knew that having them meant we’d be able to deal with the situation when it arose."

During Moyes's isolation, while also managing remotely, he was able to invest more time in recruitment. The Hammers landed Vladamir Coufal from Slavia Prague, who excelled on his debut at Leicester just days after joining.

Vladimir Coufal has enjoyed a fine start in east London (West Ham United FC via Getty Images)
Vladimir Coufal has enjoyed a fine start in east London (West Ham United FC via Getty Images)

"I thought Vladimir was brilliant," said Moyes.

"To come in, having played in Denmark in midweek… I was watching his Champions League results and everything going on, and I was saying ‘I hope he comes through with no injuries’, because we had agreed to get him.

"I don’t think he disappointed anybody on his debut, that was for sure."

Aside from Coufal, there are yet to be any more arrivals at West Ham. A deadline-day move for Chelsea's Fikayo Tomori fell at the last minute after Moyes told the England international he would not be guaranteed a starting spot, while earlier pushes for James Tarkowski and Jonathan Tah proved fruitless.

However, with Grady Diangana, Jack Wilshere and Felipe Anderson having left the club, Moyes says there is still room for new faces before the close of the domestic deadline on October 16.

Jack Wilshere has left the club on a free. (West Ham United FC via Getty Images)
Jack Wilshere has left the club on a free. (West Ham United FC via Getty Images)

"We’ve let a couple of players go, and we thank them for all the work they’ve done, but what we do have is a bit of room now to bring players in if we need to," Moyes said in his interview with the club website.

"I have to praise the club. The club have tried really hard to get the players in, but obviously on some occasions we’ve just not quite got there or have been let down a little bit at the end.

"We’ve tried to bring in the right players. We’ve tried to bring in players who I think will be here for the future.

"Of course, I need players for just now, like Vladimir, but I’m trying to build a young team, a new team which can keep developing."

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