By Aramide Oladipo
West Ham midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate has revealed that his teammates were inspired by manager Slaven Bilic’s words before the London derby victory against Tottenham last week.
The Hammers produced a 1-0 home win over Spurs for the second consecutive league season and it temporarily saw them climb up into the top half of the table.
It was West Ham’s 11th win of the Premier League season and it guaranteed their place in the English top flight for the following campaign.
Speaking to the club’s official website, the Senegalese international stated that the players wanted to win the game for their manager and his words before the game had a huge impact.
“Despite all the speculation, Slaven was very confident before the game,” he said.
He added: “We were right behind him the entire way. He said before the match that this was like a final for us and so we are very happy that we’ve won it for him.”
Kouyate certainly played a key role in the derby win last Friday night as he managed to outmuscle Tottenham’s Victor Wanyama and win the battle in midfield.
This is not the first time in over the last month where the midfielder has stepped up to the plate for West Ham as it was his goal that helped Bilic’s side secure a crucial win over relegation rivals Swansea City in April at the London Stadium.
The 27-year-old has been a crucial part of West Ham’s team as he has started every Premier League game this season and he’s contributed with four goals in all competitions.
It turned out to be the midfielder’s final match for the Hammers this campaign as he’s had to undergo surgery on his wrist and he won’t feature until next season.
In other West Ham news, Serie A giants Roma are interested in bringing this injury-prone star to Italy.