West Ham boss David Moyes to balance cup and league ambitions

West Ham boss David Moyes faces the dilemma of juggling FA Cup ambition with Premier League survival on Saturday.

Moyes will be without eight senior players – Manuel Lanzini, Marko Arnautovic, Andy Carroll, Diafra Sakho, Michail Antonio, Edimilson Fernandes, Winston Reid and Jose Fonte – through injury when they travel to Wigan in the fourth round.

Moyes will also have one eye on Tuesday night’s crunch clash with relegation rivals Crystal Palace.

And if the Scot needed a stark reminder about the perils of a successful FA Cup run he need look no further than Saturday’s opponents, who lifted the trophy in 2013 but were relegated the same year and now find themselves battling to get out of League One.

Nevertheless, Moyes said: “They got it right. Did they want to win the FA Cup? Of course they did. It’s an achievement, undoubtedly.

“But if you look back I think they would have swapped it for Premier League survival.”

A youthful West Ham side made heavy weather of getting past Shrewsbury, after a replay and extra time, in the previous round and youngsters Reece Burke, Josh Cullen, Reece Oxford and Antonio Martinez are set to get another chance.

“We had a Premier League game in midweek prior to the third round and now we have a cup game and a Premier League game after it,” added Moyes.

“It’s not easy with the size of squad we have available to us.

“Most of the youngsters played in the other round, they had a chance in both games and I would expect a few to play on Saturday.

“If I had more senior players available I would probably play them because I would like to get through in the cup, but I’m not too sure I’m going to have enough available.”

Moyes has added Inter Milan midfielder Joao Mario to his threadbare squad on loan until the end of the season and the Portugal star is in the squad to face Wigan.

Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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