West Ham have depth to cope with injury crisis in Champions League battle, insists Tomas Soucek

Jack Rosser
<p>West Ham are without key players such as Michail Antonio</p> (Getty Images)

West Ham are without key players such as Michail Antonio

(Getty Images)

Tomas Soucek is confident that West Ham have everything they need to ride out the injury crisis which is threatening to derail their Champions League bid.

Declan Rice, Michail Antonio and Angelo Ogbonna were already missing for Sunday’s win over Leicester, before Aaron Cresswell was forced off with a hamstring injury and captain Mark Noble left the pitch with a knock to his elbow.

Cresswell was being assessed on Monday morning, while it is hoped Noble will be able to face Newcastle next weekend. Ogbonna has a chance of returning having been back in training last week.

West Ham have dealt with absentees well this season, but losing so many crucial players at this time of the season is a concern for manager David Moyes.

Soucek, however, says they are ready to take on the challenge.

"Yes many injuries, but it is football," he told Standard Sport. "We’ve lost Declan, Angelo and we don’t know how many injuries from yesterday.

"We don’t have [Andriy] Yarmolenko or [Manuel] Lanzini but I hope that they will be ready soon.

"It is great that we don’t only have 10 or 11 players. We have a great team and a great spirit in the changing room, we have more than 20 great footballers so it is very good that we don’t only play with these 10 players. We can be ready with 20 or more players.”

West Ham moved to within a point of third place by beating Leicester, but had to endure another nervy finish after letting slip a three-goal lead for the third game in a row.

Kelechi Iheanacho scored twice - the second coming in the first minute of six added on at the end of the second half - after two goals from Jesse Lingard and another from Jarrod Bowen had put Moyes's side in the driving seat.

West Ham's destiny is in their own hands with seven games to play, but after sitting off and letting Leicester back into the game - as they did against both Wolves and Arsenal in the preceding games - Soucek says the Hammers must show more confidence on the ball.

"It is great that we are controlling the games and the table," Soucek said. "But now it is Newcastle and I hope we will play a similar way in terms of being offensive.

"In terms of the defensive side like the first 60 minutes, Leicester didn’t create anything. The last 30, we have to watch with the coaches and show many things that we need to improve and play like the first 60 minutes.

"I think that it is about confidence and mentality. We are in very good shape for 60 minutes but after this we feel that we are close to a win and we want to play with safety in mind and it feels like we’re safe in our box but that is not true.

"We have to play like we have done in the first 60 minutes, we’re safe when we still press them and play high. If we’re only in our box then the opponents create many chances."

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