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Moyes wants players to 'instigate' positive mood

Filed: Thursday, 29th March 2018
By: Staff Writer

David Moyes has challenged his players to be the "instigators" of a positive atmosphere at the Olympic Stadium this weekend.

The Hammers boss, speaking in his latest weekly piece for the Evening Standard called for the fans to get behind the team against Southampton this Saturday - but has also ordered his players to give the crowd something to cheer.

Some sections of the 50,000+ crowd turned on the Board immediately after Burnley scored their first goal in the recent 3-0 defeat, leading the chaotic scenes and a number of frustrated fans invading the pitch.

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And Moyes admits his team simply can't afford the same situation to arise this weekend. "My message to the players is we have to be the instigators," he said. "We need to be the ones to start things off, set the mood and give the supporters something on which they can focus their support.

"I can tell our fans that the players are really together. They’ve been hard on themselves since the Burnley defeat and they are ready for the remaining eight games of this season. It will make our job so much easier if everyone is behind us on Saturday — and I’m sure they will be.

"The problems which occurred against Burnley didn’t help us. After the first goal there was a long break because of the issues on the pitch and the players’ statistics dropped off dramatically. That proves the importance of the support — and if that can happen so spectacularly when things go wrong, then the opposite is true if we feel that unified support."

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Moyes also welcomed the return of Arthur Masuaku, whose trickery and guile have been badly missed during the six matches for which he has been suspended. "Arthur gives us some balance on the left-hand side of the team and he has that pace which worries the opposition," he added.

"The FA Cup tie at Wigan a couple of months ago was a big negative for us, not only because we lost but also due to Arthur’s own stupidity and a nasty knee injury to Pedro Obiang, who we have really missed in midfield.

"We’ve been patching up since then, and it’s great to have Arthur back for the business end of the season."

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