Stewart Downing has explained two ways West Ham United are in a great position ahead of the rest of the season.
Downing did an interview with the BBC as part of the build-up to the live game and suggested Sam Allardyce was at the root of the upturn in the side’s fortunes.
“I think if you look at the players we signed last summer, we’ve now got better squad depth than this time last season,” said the midfielder.
“The manager also gives us confidence that we can get the best out of ourselves.”
He certainly has a point in terms of the club’s signings because greater squad depth has allowed the Hammers to maintain a very high level of quality and performance.
When a player has been injured or suspended, there’s been a strong squad option to come into the side.
The boss has also been able to rotate more effectively, which also helps to keep everyone a little bit fresher and giving that little bit more in the key games.
The boss has always had a very big personality when it comes to dealing with his players, but he deserves credit for coaching West Ham’s stars in an effective way.
He seems to be giving them extra responsibility and encouraging them to take risks whether that pays off or not.
That will develop and strengthen the confidence of players because they will feel as though the manager trusts them.
However, that doesn’t mean that Big Sam won’t be ready to make the big calls and withdraw players when he sees fit.
All in all, things look very encouraging for West Ham ahead of the rest of an important season.