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No holiday spirit likely for the Hammers’ Boxing Day trip to Bournemouth

After losing to Newcastle, it won't be an easy jaunt to the south coast

West Ham United v Newcastle United - Premier League Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images

One thing about the holiday season is that there’s very little time to dwell on what went wrong and the focus instead has to be on how to rectify difficult situations.

So the best possible remedy for losing to Newcastle United on Saturday in a game that most pundits had bet on West ham United to win will be by taking all three points from the Boxing Day fixture against Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.

The holiday period is perhaps the busiest time of the season for most clubs and of course injuries always complicate matters.

But the obvious limitations to what can be achieved in the two training sessions David Moyes referred to after the Newcastle game means there’s not a lot of time available to work at putting things right.

With Sunday having been essentially a day for rest and recovery, the emphasis would have been placed on the players’ physical conditions after the defeat the day before.

In practical terms David wouldn’t have had much of a chance to get the team out on the pitch and address any footballing issues he felt needed attention.

The priority will have been given to anyone who picked up injuries in Saturday’s loss and most of Sunday will have been spent assessing these; hoping that by the end of the day nothing more serious than bumps and bruises had been reported.

West Ham United v Newcastle United - Premier League Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images

We know how much David likes to keep his own counsel; and in situations where one game follows another within a few days, he may not be able to do much more than watch and wait.

The injury situation is constantly changing and there have been times in the last few weeks when there were players whom we thought were likely to return but didn’t (Chicharito, Andy Carroll) and some whom we expected not to play (Michail Antonio, James Collins) but did.

It just goes to show how the unpredictable nature of injuries can throw the best laid plans out of the window.

It’s no wonder David likes to keep his opinions regarding team affairs to himself since predictions over injury matters are often fraught with uncertainty.

That 48 hour period between reporting injured on a Sunday morning and being able to take part in the last training session before a midweek match can vary with similar injuries often responding to treatment in different ways.

This means that when it comes to team selection, the important thing is to see how well players perform in training before a mid-week match; always bearing in mind that the actual sessions aren’t really likely to test players in a physical sense due to the proximity of the games before and after.

Sometimes it can be difficult to get an accurate picture of how fit a player is so soon after an injury has been sustained and team selection becomes all the more difficult.

West Ham United v Arsenal - Premier League Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

With the number of injuries the club have had to contend with this season, the possibility that David may have no choice other than to wait until the day of the match itself needs to be considered.

We know that José Fonte and Edimilson Fernandes are obvious non-starters at the moment; and that Mark Noble is currently out with a hamstring muscle injury.

Chicharito, James Collins and Cheikhou Kouyaté have all recently returned to the side following absences through injury and Michail Antonio has been in and out of the team with various injuries.

In fairness to Michail, often these have been of such a nature where return to play times are difficult to estimate; like his rib injury for instance.

So in rounding-off the preparations for Bournemouth, it looks as though it will be another day where late decisions will be made once again over who actually does turn out for West Ham United on the south coast.

So instead of trying to pick a team a few days before the game, David may have no choice other than to wait until nearer the kick-off time.

Saturday’s result against Newcastle makes it even more important for him to be as cold and clinical as he needs to be in the weeks to come.