avid Moyes has admitted that some of his decisions for West Ham’s clash against Silkeborg will be affected by the artificial surface.
The Hammers travel to Denmark for their second Europa League Conference group stage match, having kicked off their campaign with a victory over FCSB at the London Stadium last week.
Silkeborg are playing on a plastic pitch and with Craig Dawson and Aaron Cresswell fresh off injury, they may not be in danger. Moyes knows this is not a surface that many players are extremely confident on.
“It gave me some thoughts,” Moyes said. “We respect that it’s an artificial pitch, we have decisions to make.
He added: “As a player, I played on a plastic pitch for three years. In modern football, I don’t see top players really wanting to play on artificial grass pitches and I totally respect that.
“I’m from Scotland and I know how important artificial turf pitches are.”
Thursday night’s clash is West Ham’s second trip to Denmark of the season, having beaten Viborg in the play-off to reach the group stage.
Moyes believes last month’s visit helped the players feel even more comfortable ahead of facing Silkeborg, although he is frustrated that the match won’t take place earlier in the evening.
“I think all it did was we got to know the surroundings in the sense that we stayed close to where we are now,” Moyes said.
“The trip was very easy from London. Last year we mainly had matches that started at 6am, now it’s 8am which is not good for us as it affects the return trip. It will take some getting used to.
“Silkeborg plays a very good style of football and I think Viborg does too. That’s why you want to be in Europe, to face these different styles.
Thilo Kehrer has been involved in all three of West Ham’s Europa Conference League matches so far this season, settling in quickly at his new club following his summer move.
The 25-year-old sees the Hammers as an increasingly established side on the European scene, with the big spend in the transfer window only helping to maintain the club’s upward trajectory.
“The club is growing and it’s a really interesting project,” Kehrer said.
“The team, the coaching staff, the ideas that are here and the values that are displayed – those are the most important reasons for me.”
“I think it’s a name that’s getting bigger and bigger. You see the signings that have arrived this summer and the last season the club has had, it’s been very positive.