West Ham's six-man bench not a message to the board, insists David Moyes after Huddersfield win

West Ham's six-man bench not a message to the board, insists David Moyes after Huddersfield win

David Moyes says he did not name six substitutes in West Ham United's win at Huddersfield Town as a message to the club's board that they need more signings this month.

Charlie Malam

West Ham United's six-man bench against Huddersfield Town was not a message to the club's board that they need more signings in the January transfer window, David Moyes sats.

The Hammers named one less player in reserve than available to them at the John Smith's Stadium, causing speculation on social media that the Scot was issuing a message to the club's hierarchy about his first-team squad - with two of those included recently re-called from loans.

But rather than it being a tactical ploy, Moyes explained their spacious substitutes' bench was down to the club's under-23s playing Leicester City in the Premier League 2 Division 1 on Friday night.

Asked about his bench, Moyes revealed: "I've been asked that a few times. I think everyone is making a big thing of it.

"I had a reserve game last night and the decision was that we wanted the boys to play in the reserves because we've got a cup game [an FA Cup third-round replay against Shrewsbury Town] on Tuesday. We might consider some of them for that.

"It would have meant getting one of them in a car right after the game last night and sending them up. We chose not to do it, we chose to go with one less."

Moyes enthused by Hammers' progress and lauds Zabaleta

The Hammers ran out 4-1 winners as Marko Arnautović and Manuel Lanzini shone against the Terriers, one or both of the pair involved in all four goals on the afternoon.

Arnautović laid on Lanzini's brace having scored a stunning solo goal 11 seconds into the second-half, while Arnautović also helped force the error for Mark Noble's breakthrough goal after 25 minutes.

Their second-half display, after Joe Lolley had netted a fine equaliser to send the teams into half-time at 1-1, ensured that West Ham leapfrog Huddersfield into 12th but more importantly climb further away from the relegation battle.

Moyes continued: "I think that all the teams in this part of the division are desperate to take points or any wins. There's probably 10 or 12 teams in that position.

"For us to beat one of our rivals is a big thing, there's a lot of games being drawn at the moment. I think the games at this level are going to be nip and tuck, they can go either way.

"I don't think at times any team is much better than the other. The games are going to be close but we're beginning to win on the road.

"We won at Stoke, we won here today and we're starting to get a wee bit of form at the London Stadium as well, which hopefully will bode well between now and the end of the season."

The form of club-record addition Arnautović has been the most notable profit of Moyes' time in charge, having scored six and assisted three in 11 appearances under the 54-year-old.

But he also hailed right-back Pablo Zabaleta's displays and believes the veteran is reaching the levels he previously set when playing for previous club Manchester City at the top end of the table."

"Zabaleta has played every minute of all the games I think and has got better in the last two or three games," Moyes added.

"He's improved even from where we were at. He's back to what he looked like as a Manchester City player."