David Moyes has discussed Jarrod Bowen’s injury and West Ham’s progress ahead the club’s clash with Aston Villa this weekend.
West Ham remain in pursuit of a top four finish this season and are sixth in the Premier League at present, with the Hammers having enjoyed an impressive campaign both domestically and in Europe.
The club’s Europa League last-16 clash with Sevilla is finely poised after a narrow 1-0 defeat in Spain on Thursday evening and Moyes says his side’s showing against the record six-time winners is an indication of their progress in recent seasons.
“When you look back over European football you always got great second legs. We’re playing against a good team in European football,” Moyes told his pre-match press conference.
“If you said to me you’re coming away with a 1-0 defeat, I might have taken that into the second leg.
“Two years ago we were avoiding relegation and now we’re competing in much higher areas of the league. We got back into Europe.”
Moyes confirmed that Jarrod Bowen will again be absent after picking up an injury during last weekend’s defeat at Liverpool, but said West Ham came through their midweek clash with Sevilla ‘relatively unscathed’.
“We’re just recovering everybody so I couldn’t give you a complete answer. We seemed to come through Thursday’s game relatively unscathed,” he said.
🗣 "He won't be available for this weekend's game."
David Moyes says that his side will feel Jarrod Bowen's absence following his injury, but insists his team are able to cope. pic.twitter.com/bmoClKENWm
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) March 11, 2022
“Regarding Jarrod, he’s not going to be available for the weekend.
“Declan did well for his first game back. It’s not unexpected that he plays at that level because he’s a very good player.”
Moyes admitted he is unsure on the timescale of Bowen’s return to fitness, but believes his side coped well without the influential winger in Seville.
“Of course, we’re missing Jarrod Bowen, but we’ve only not had him for one game, against Sevilla. Did we miss him? Yes. But I think we coped without him last night. But we could do with his goals in the next months or so.
“It’s a really difficult injury to diagnose but we hope we can get him closer to fitness.”
West Ham will take on an Aston Villa side in fine form this weekend, with the visitors set to arrive at the London Stadium on the back of three consecutive league wins.
Steven Gerrard’s team thrashed Leeds 3-0 in midweek and Moyes was full of praise for the new manager’s impact since arriving at Villa Park.
“I’ve always thought a lot of Aston Villa. I’ve said since last year that they’ve got good players and some really talented young players.
“They signed well in the transfer window. But the Premier League is full of good teams at the moment. Aston Villa will be a competitive game.”
“I’m extremely impressed with Steven [Gerrard],” he added.
“Steven worked with the U18s at Liverpool and had a couple of years at that and then took on a huge task at Rangers. It was a huge achievement for him at Rangers and for Rangers supporters.
“He’s now gone and taken on a really big job at Aston Villa. I like the way he’s tried to develop himself. He’s tried to train himself up and get some experience and learn on the job. He’s doing a really good job.”