West Ham’s fight to climb the Premier League table will not be easy, but can be achieved if everyone now comes together, according to new assistant manager Stuart Pearce.
Former England defender Pearce, who made 50 appearances for the Hammers in the autumn of his career, has joined Alan Irvine on the coaching staff under David Moyes, appointed last week following the departure of Slaven Bilic.
The Irons are third bottom in the Premier League and return to action with a trip to Watford on Sunday.
West Ham have several players away on international duty, so Moyes will not get the chance to work with the whole first team squad until later in the week.
Pearce, though, is convinced the talent is there to help pull the east London club away from danger.
“David (Moyes) is acutely aware – as we all are – of exactly where the club are at this moment in time,” Pearce said in an interview with the club’s official website.
“It’s not going to be easy, no one is expecting it to be, because the stakes are very high in the Premier League, but I think with the staff here and the squad of players, we have a great chance.
“The main thing is to enhance the togetherness at the club. I have watched West Ham a lot from the outside, because it’s one of my former clubs, I probably keep a closer eye on things.
“I’ve seen a lot of them this season – I covered the Tottenham game at Wembley and the Liverpool game last week – and it is clear that everyone needs galvanizing.
“Confidence has been dented and that is part of the task, to get that back on track. We need to find that togetherness again and the players are the most powerful ones of all in showing that.”
Forward Michail Antonio is currently recovering from a rib injury and feels Moyes’ “intense” approach will help lift the club.
“With the squad that we have, we definitely shouldn’t be in the situation that we are in,” Antonio said.
“With a bit of structure and more belief and confidence, we will definitely be going up the league.”
Following his return to football, former Manchester City and England under-21 manager Pearce will no longer continue to promote bookmaker Betfred.
Pearce now becomes subject to the Football Association’s betting rules, which state ”an individual participant, when acting in a personal capacity, shall not be permitted to advertise or promote any betting activity”.
The 55-year-old is relishing the opportunities ahead as part of the West Ham coaching staff, having recently helped out Kenny Jackett at Portsmouth.
“The media work has been good for me, but I really feel that I’ve got something to offer the coaching set-up here,” he said.
“It’s an opportunity to work in the Premier League again, with a good squad of players – it was too good to turn down.”
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