Football

David Moyes Has "Prepared" His Players For Another Pitch Invasion

David Moyes Has "Prepared" His Players For Another Pitch Invasion

Earlier this month, as West Ham United dropped to within two points of the relegation places, their 3-0 defeat to Burnley was further marred by the incredible sight of fans invading the London Stadium pitch.

With demonstrations of their anger also manifesting itself on the concourse in front of the club's director's box, the target of their animosity was the seemingly unruffled David Sullivan, and the absent David Gold.

The majority shareholders of the club, Gold and Sullivan have been criticised for their handling of the club since their takeover in 2010. Having left Upton Park for the re-purposed London Stadium with the promise of an upturn in the team's fortunes, this feature of the deal is yet to be realised.

Having not played another game since their defeat to Burnley, West Ham's David Moyes spoke today of his side's home tie against Southampton tomorrow. With Mauricio Pellegrino gone, and Mark Hughes in, the Saints no longer offer the same kind of welcome opponent that they did three weeks ago.

That Hughes suggested he hopes his side can "affect the atmosphere in the ground" could have just been an unfortunate choice of words, to be fair.

Either way, should West Ham lose, they will almost certainly drop into the bottom three. Amid fears that the home fans could once again choose to publicly demonstrate their disgruntlement, Moyes has not been quick to calm the nerves:

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We have to make sure that we are in the game, to make sure we do not let anything alter our mindset. I think the players have a different mindset now.

Citing that his "players did not enjoy" dealing with the pitch invaders during their defeat to Burnley, it is perhaps a touch worrying that Moyes, if not exactly suggesting these scenes will be repeated, is open to the possibility of it.

While the former Sunderland, Manchester United and Everton manager is scarcely the cause of this long-running consternation (although it is difficult to determine is role in quelling it), should such scenes occur again one wonders how damaging it could be for the club.

With the FA still investigating the initial incident, it is hopeful that Moyes' assessment of this as an 'exceptional' event will remain accurate. Either way, he is certain they are "better prepared [and] mentally stronger" should the scenes repeat themselves.

See Also: Millwall Player 'Confused And Disappointed' After Latest Ireland Snub

Arthur James O'Dea

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