David Moyes has urged his West Ham players to turn London Stadium into a fortress following his reappointment as manager this week.
The Hammers have played home matches at London Stadium since 2016 and, while Moyes acknowledged lingering dissatisfaction with the new stadium among fans, he insists West Ham’s players can extinguish any negative feeling with regular successes at home.
“The first thing I would say is that we did turn it into a bit of a fortress before,” Moyes said, referring to his first spell as manager. “But I think that was the players who did it. The players impacted on the supporters, impacted on people who go to the games by how they performed.
“There are not many clubs in world football that get 60,000 people every week … We need to give them something that makes them cheer.”
The Scot recalled how difficult he found it at Upton Park as a visiting manager, which was the club’s home for more than 100 years. But his aim now is to make their current home similarly intimidating for visiting teams.
“It [London Stadium] will be there for 100 years,” he said. “We need to get used to it. We need also to find a way to win regular, how we can make it difficult for the opponents.
“There is nobody who would go back and say the days at Upton Park were not great days. I came as an opposition manager and it was really difficult.”
Moyes also said the claret-coloured pitch surround, which was installed in April 2019, was a step in the right direction. “We did talk about the different colour surround but so did Slaven [Bilic] before me. I asked the question [during his first spell in charge], and they do believe it has helped.
“We have a really good new stadium and we have to give the supporters something to shout about. If we do that, then hopefully that will takes their minds off anything else.”