Soucek looking for the power of three



By Hughie Southon

Tomáš Souček is certain the Hammers defeat at Manchester United will not affect their improving Premier League form.

The Czech  has been playing a notably more advanced role alongside Declan and Lucas Paqueta to good effect in recent games where he has licence to surge into the box and show his attacking and aerial qualities.

He has also pressed into positions where he has supported  a front two – with Michail Antonio against the Red Devils and Danny Ings against Forest – to lead the Hammers’ attacking push.

He said: “We have had time [as a three] together,”  on his partnership with Rice and Paquetá, “and I just hope we show more and more on the pitch, which can bring us more good things.

“I prefer all of the positions in the midfield, even playing as a defensive midfielder. But what I like the most is the rotation between the three. If we get better and better in the middle, we will rotate with each other.

It’s great for us and it is tough for the opponent as they don’t know who will be in what position. I like having the freedom to change between us and I hope it will carry on.”

The success of such rotation was clear as a brace from Ings and goals from Rice and Antonio saw the Hammers sweep Forest a-side at London Stadium last weekend.And now, Soucek, who, honestly, admits the Hammers’ next fixture away to Brighton & Hove Albion will be ‘very tough’ knows the confidence from the win will be crucial on Saturday.

David Moyes’ men seek a first Premier League win over the Seagulls at the 12th attempt. Historically it has not swung the way of the Hammers, something Soucek is desperate to change.

He added: “A win gives you more confidence. These points are very important, and we want to go out of the relegation zone and move forward.

“The squad is very strong, we just didn’t get the right moment at the beginning of the season and after that, it’s always difficult to go from a lower position to a higher one. Now we can see from the performances, even when we didn’t win against Chelsea and Newcastle we played very well. 

“I am enjoying the football [we are playing at the moment]. I am happy with how we have performed and how I have performed myself and will do everything possible on the pitch [against Brighton to continue that].”

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Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!"

Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon