David Moyes can address West Ham United’s leaky defence by unleashing Angelo Ogbonna in the starting line-up at home to Leicester City on Sunday.
The Irons boss has expressed concerns over how his side have become susceptible to conceding goals once they’ve opened a commanding lead.
West Ham let slip a three-goal advantage over Arsenal in last month’s 3-3 London derby draw, and had to hold on to beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-2 on Monday night after the Molineux outfit threatened a comeback from three behind.
Moyes’ men were able to weather the storm at Wolves and hold on to clinch all three points to move fourth in the Premier League table, and could go to within a single point of Leicester with a win at the London Stadium this weekend.
The Hammers head coach does not intend to change his attacking style to overcome the Foxes’ challenge, but is worried by how his team has allowed leads to wither away in recent weeks.
“I’m really concerned about the fact we have conceded goals after going into 3-0 leads in our last two games,” Moyes said during his press conference on Friday.
“I want us to score five or six goals instead of three, but we have to say it’s something we have to consider.
“We have an attacking team at the moment, and we are trying to keep scoring goals, we know what’s at stake and if the players keep winning 3-2, why would I tell them to do anything different?”
An off-night for Issa Diop was one of the reasons why Wolves were able to threaten a comeback from three goals down on Monday, as the Frenchman and centre-back partner Craig Dawson were both out of sorts.
An early yellow card meant Dawson had to be careful to avoid a sending off in the Black Country, but Diop had no excuse as he came close to costing West Ham the win. The £16m-rated enforcer frequently switched off and failed to cover the space in behind his teammates, which allowed Fabio Silva the time needed to drill home past Lukasz Fabianski.
West Ham assistant manager Alan Irvine revealed following an open training session on Wednesday that Ogbonna was closing in on a return to fitness, having taken part in the work at Rush Green.
“Yes, he’s getting very close, and it’ll be great to get him back again,” Irvine said. “Obviously he’s a big part of the team, big part of the squad and he will have a part to play between now and the end of the season.”
Moyes re-introducing Ogbonna to his Premier League plans for the first time since February’s goalless draw with Fulham could now see the Scottish coach fix his leaky defence.
Ogbonna had started all 23 available top-flight fixtures before being forced off 16 minutes into his team’s FA Cup defeat to Manchester United, which came as a huge blow for Moyes, who lauded the 32-year-old as being “magnificent” and an important leader.
He may now need that leadership to keep Fabianski’s net protected against Leicester, who have scored five goals in their last three away games.