A buoyant David Moyes expressed some holiday laughs at the beginning of his latest press conference Friday afternoon, but ruled out the services of West Ham United captain Mark Noble for the Christmas Eve Eve fixture against Newcastle at the London Stadium.
The new Hammers boss also expressed in his latest chat with the media that Michal Antonio was questionable for the holiday home fixture against Newcastle, as the Hammers look for revenge on Rafa Benitez’s side. Newcastle handled the Hammers a third straight loss to start the season back in late summer, a clear 3-0 thrashing defeat and a last place beginning to their 2017-18 campaign.
“We have a doubt with Michail Antonio, who couldn’t play in the Carabao Cup tie at Arsenal in midweek as he had a bit of a calf injury,” Moyes said. “That gives us a question mark about him.”
But despite also announcing Noble’s hamstring injury issues ruling him out of the squad entirely Saturday (and Manuel Lanzini receiving the second of his two match bill from the FA), Moyes did share the good news that Cheikhou Kouyate will likely return from his own hamstring injury.
The Scottish manager also opined about the always busy festive period, indicating that he is fine with the holiday schedule.
“I’ve been involved in football since I was 16 and Christmas has always been a busy period, and this season is no different,” he said. “It’s different from the rest of the season, because you would normally have more preparation time and time to feed information back to the players, as well. In this period, you’re moving on very quickly from one game to the next and you’re concentrating on getting the players recovered and ready for the next game.”