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2021-2022-Season

#PLStories- Vladimir Coufal on West Ham’s Europa League campaign and Ben Johnson form #WHUFC

Vladimir Coufal

It is your manager’s 1000th game as a manager, can you tell us a few things about him and what you’ve made of him so far?

One thousand games is a huge success for him and for sure we would like to win and give him a good performance from us like a birthday gift. So we want to do everything for him and to win tomorrow.

If you win the group you can have a bit of time off in February. You won’t have to play around the games in February.

Yeah, of course. It’s very important also for us, because our schedule is like unbelievable now, especially next month, so we can have one game less if we win the group. So it’s a good bonus for us and we want to get this bonus.

You are top four in the Premier League, quarter-final of the League Cup, doing well in the Europa League. Do the players appreciate quite what you’re achieving?

Of course and also the fans appreciate our performances and our results, so we just can promise we will do everything to carry on these results and deliver this football quality for our fans and to all West Ham supporters. As I said, I hope we can carry on these performances and also with the results. It’s very important for us and I think this time is a very good one to be a West Ham fan.

What have you made of Ben Johnson’s performances in your absence?

Of course Ben Johnson is a young lad from our Academy, he did well when I was injured, he played really well. I need to praise him because he scored a goal and he did really well in defence, so yeah, very, very good. It is also good if you want to have a successful team to double up in your positions and it’s also good for yourself because when you are alone in your position you can lose the motivation and now he is pushing me and I am going to do everything for the team performance as always.

How is your injury?

Yeah, good. I’m here on the press conference, ready to play, so I’m alright.

I just wanted to ask about that injury. You’ve been someone that’s been so consistent since you signed for the club really, playing every minute. How have you found the spell being at the side?

I try to push myself on the limits every game. Sometimes it’s possible, sometimes it isn’t. I will do everything to carry on these performances and to be consistent every game when I play and after that it is up to the manager if he picks me in the starting XI or not but I am going to do everything for it.

On the chance of winning the group tomorrow if results go your way. You played three, won three and haven’t conceded a goal. Has it taken you by surprise how well the group have settled in the Europa League?

I have to say when we were watching the draw I expected an equal group and I think our opponents played very well. But we want to win this group and we will do everything for it. It’s a good bonus for us and also for the West Ham fans because West Ham did not play in European competition for a long time and also we would like to make some new records. For example, to not concede a goal in the group and to finish with 18 points – it would be a nice bonus.

You could have a personal record for yourself. You scored here against Genk for Slavia Prague. How nice would a first goal for West Ham be tomorrow?

It would be simply perfect because with Slavia I remember this game, we won 4-1 and after we went through to the next round. So we could do similar success with West Ham. Because if we win this game we can win the group so it’s similar and also I am waiting for my first goal for West Ham for too long in my opinion and I have to shoot to score a goal and I have to score.

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