Former West Ham striker backs David Moyes to fight off relegation, but admits it’s going to be ‘tough’

Date published: Monday 6th February 2023 1:25 - Harry Watkinson

Moyes on West Ham

West Ham United manager David Moyes has received the backing of former Hammers striker Jermaine Defoe after a slight upturn in results.

The East London side are still in danger of relegation though, as they currently sit just one point outside the bottom three.

Moyes was on the brink of being sacked just a couple of weeks ago, but Defoe believes that he is the right man to steer West Ham away from danger.

Indeed, while the Hammers are still currently in 16th place in the Premier League table, their recent results have been more positive.

They beat fellow relegation contenders Everton in late January, which ultimately brought about the sacking of Frank Lampard in a game that was billed ‘El Sackico’ between him and Moyes.

Then on Saturday, West Ham picked up a valuable point against Newcastle United, with a 1-1 draw at St. James’ Park.

There is still a lot of work to do to avoid relegation, but Defoe thinks the Hammers should stick with Moyes, at least for now.

Speaking to Football London, when asked if he still backs the Scotsman, he said: “I’m not going to sit here and be like ‘no’ because why would I? I wouldn’t do that.

“If we’re being honest, we were raving about Moyes and the job he has done there; so you don’t just become a bad manager overnight.

“You don’t just become a bad coach because not too long ago, in terms of signings, it was ‘Moyesy, what do you want?'”

Indeed, Moyes has certainly been backed in both transfer windows this season.

In the summer, the former Manchester United manager brought in two high-profile names in Lucas Paqueta (for a club-record fee of £53m) and Gianluca Scamacca (£35.5m).

While Paqueta has been one of the few positives for the Hammers this season, centre-forward Scamacca has failed to score enough goals to justify his hefty price tag, netting just three times in 16 league appearances.

In January, Moyes brought in experienced striker Danny Ings (£15m) as a solution to their ongoing goal-scoring struggles, but he has already faced injury problems and has failed to score in two outings so far.

But, he could still prove to be a smart purchase if he can stay fit for the rest of the campaign, as he has scored goals consistently wherever he’s played.

The West Ham squad certainly has some quality players in it, such as England international Declan Rice, but they still have plenty of work to do to get out of danger.

Defoe added: “I think they’re still good enough to go on a good run and obviously my former club and I played under David Moyes, I like him as a coach.

“I would like to see them obviously do well and progress and get a few results. But the Premier League is such a tough league, there are no easy games and you’re going to get points in the season where the team isn’t playing great and you’re not getting results because every game is hard.

“Every season, every team, you get different players coming in. Tactically, managers improve, so it’s difficult but I still feel like they’re good enough to go on a good run.”

West Ham’s next game is a London derby against Chelsea at the London Stadium, who have been struggling lately, so if they could pick up three points in that match it could help turn the Hammers’ season around.

READ MORE: Premier League clubs’ record goalscorers: Kane beats Greaves, everyone else pretty safe

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