Moyes reckons West Ham could have doubled their 3-0 win, while Bowyer laments lack of incision
By Julian Taylor at the London Stadium
David Moyes insists potential cup glory is high on West Ham United’s agenda, despite fielding a shadow side which prevailed against Charlton Athletic.
The Hammers boss took a risk by placing the vast majority of his regulars in cold storage, mindful of the need to recover their collective willpower in the Premier League after a dismal 2-0 home defeat to Newcastle United on Saturday, the subject of much criticism.
However, the balancing act strategy against League One Addicks paid off with a largely comfortable 3-0 win at the London Stadium – and West Ham will now host either Leeds United or Hull City in the Carabao Cup third round next week.
“Every cup competition you go into you want to win, I do anyway, because there's not that many to fight for,” explained Moyes.
“I think there's also something about the Premier League games being so tough, so competitive and staying in the Premier League is very important. But nobody would take me away from trying to win a cup, it doesn't matter what cup it is. We'll do that, but we also have to be mindful about the squad, the people we've got, and thankfully tonight the majority were all fit.
"We want to get through and do the best we can. We want to progress in the cups and we've also got to be careful that we're not risking too many of our top players, especially with the level of the Premier League games and the standard you've got to play at.”
He added: "We've got to keep them fit and ready for them, but also we've put out a strong enough team tonight to get ourselves through in the cup."
Sebastien Haller gave Moyes something to mull over for the forthcoming weeks – West Ham play in-form Arsenal at the Emirates on Saturday - with an early capital derby double, before Felipe Anderson slotted in a late third goal to finally seal the tie.
Considering his injury problems last term, Haller looked sharp. Perhaps this season, Hammers fans will see the real deal about the towering French striker who cost a cool £45million from Eintracht Frankfurt in July 2019, and whose goal ratio in a career so far, which has taken in Auxerre, Utrecht and the Bundesliga, is an impressive one. Moyes certainly hopes so.
"He got two and we've won 3-0, but I think we could have won by double that,” said the Scot. “It was great that Seb scored a couple of goals, it really is, because we need our forward players to be feeling confident about it. The two goals tonight I'm sure will help him."
Charlton boss Lee Bowyer, meanwhile, praised his men for their performance in what was always going to be a tough night for the League One side, up against Premier League counterparts just north of the river. Quite a contrast from last weekend’s trip to Crewe Alexandra, where a win kicked off their league campaign in decent fashion, amid ongoing ownership uncertainties.
The Addicks improved after a nervy start, but having conceded twice they ultimately made life difficult for themselves. Ex-Hammer Bowyer was thus denied the chance of causing an upset against his former club, one whom he has ambitions to manage in the future.
“In the first half I thought we looked nervous,” Bowyer admitted. “Ninety percent of it was backwards, afraid of giving the ball away, a lot of negative play.
“At half time we had a word, I said ‘believe’ and in the second half I thought we were the better side, I thought we were the most dangerous.
"The only thing we were lacking is that final pass, that final finish. That’s what you pay for. They get that final chance at the end and it kills the game. We deserved to score a goal, our performance, we deserved to get on the score sheet.”
Former Charlton loanee Josh Cullen got an opportunity for the hosts last night, and Bowyer generously singled him – and West Ham - out for praise.
He said: “It was good to see Josh Cullen, he didn’t put a foot wrong. He won’t let them down.
“They’ve got some quality players, you can see that. I think they need to be a little bit more ruthless. I think first half they could have put it to bed. They’ve got a good squad, a strong squad.”