By Jonty Banks

17th Mar, 2023 | 11:10am

West Ham United players to be given five days off by David Moyes during international break

West Ham United manager David Moyes is set to give his players five days off during the international break to keep them energised and focused on their fight against relegation, according to The Athletic.

Confidence was restored within the Hammers’ ranks following a comfortable 4-0 win over AEK Larnaca in the European Conference League on Thursday (16 March), with the club’s quarter-final opponents yet to be decided.

Despite their strong European form, Moyes’ side remains embroiled in a relegation scrap and could enter the international break in the bottom three if results go against them this weekend.

The Athletic’s Roshane Thomas shared that the Scottish manager would use the break to scout his upcoming opposition and to provide his players with a chance to rest up and reset.

He wrote: “Before full-time, the players were laughing and joking on the bench. Said Benrahma posed for pictures with supporters. It did not look like a team who were dispirited.

“Moyes has given the non-internationals five days off during the break. He wants them to return energised and focused on the important task at hand.

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“Moyes plans on using the break to scout opposition teams, with the assistance of his backroom staff. But until then, he awaits with interest to see who West Ham will face in the quarter-finals.”

Reset button

Moyes seems to have heeded the advice of Sam Allardyce, who recently told talkSPORT (6 March) that the best way to restore confidence in a team in a relegation fight was to go on holiday.

The chance to head away, clear heads and come back fully focussed on the relegation fight that awaits is the correct move from Moyes. Keeping the non-international players training during this period can be draining and often problematic.

Such a break will allow Moyes to press the reset button and come back a re-energised manager with one thing in mind: Premier League survival.

The manner in which West Ham United entered the international break will be pleasing to the fans, while the fact that both Villarreal and Lazio were knocked out of the European Conference League means Moyes’ men could now be considered the favourites to win the trophy.

European success is by no means an escape card from the reality of their lowly Premier League position, but the win did provide the London Stadium with a glimmer of optimism.