Erik ten Hag interview with club media ahead of West Ham | 30 Oct 2022

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You said after the game in one of your interviews we noticed that Christian Eriksen makes “pecking passes” – there was one ball, in particular, to Bruno Fernandes inside their box in the first half, is that what you mean by this definition, those kind of passes?

“Yeah, of course, we wanted those most in the final third but also in the preparation, in the build-up to attacks, those passes, killing opponents. And you need players to see those passes, to pass them as the skills but also the positioning for the ones who have to receive it in the back of the opponents is important.”

You’ve had to utilise the squad a lot since the last international break – are you pleased with the way the whole squad has responded that, especially in training?

“We are doing well. You see we are developing. We are getting better from game by game and that has to be. The process is in progress, eh, and there is still a lot of room for improvement.”

As for the team news for West Ham, it was great to see Donny [van de Beek] and Harry [Maguire] getting minutes back out on the pitch…

“Yeah, it’s important. You always want the squad complete so you can make choices. You need everyone but also injuries, you can not always avoid them. But, if so, then get them back as quickly as possible. They are back now. We are happy with that. We need them. We have to cover five more games until there is a big break but they are tough games. We want to get in the right position and we have a job to do as a team. I am happy they are there.”

You’ve mentioned Anthony Martial can be back before the World Cup so this would provide a boost if that’s the case?

“Every player. Every player who is in the squad can play a role. You’ve seen that yesterday with [Alejandro] Garnacho. He’s playing a role. Anthony Elanga, on Saturday, came in and had some more good touches when he came on. So we need all the players. All the players have to be available, they have to be ready to battle and ready to fight for this team and this club.”

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