‘Normally I have three weeks off’: West Ham’s Tomas Soucek laughs about playing over Christmas

‘Normally I have three weeks off and eat potato salad!’: West Ham matchwinner Tomas Soucek still getting used to playing Premier League football over Christmas after Czech Republic midfielder scored for Hammers in late victory over Everton

  • Tomas Soucek scored in West Ham’s 1-0 New Year’s Day win at Everton
  • The 25-year-old opened up about the struggles of playing over Christmas
  • Soucek is normally used to a three-week break in his native Czech Republic
  • David Moyes praised his side’s unbeaten run in the six games over three days

Tomas Soucek admitted it was hard to play Premier League football at Christmas time this year after he netted the winner in West Ham’s 1-0 win at Everton.

The midfielder is playing in his first winter in English football after £19million move from Slavia Prague in 2020. Soucek normally has a winter break around December time but instead played three games in six days for the Hammers.

And after scoring past Jordan Pickford four minutes from time to give the Hammers a first win in five games, the 25-year-old opened up about the struggles of taking part in the busy winter schedule.

Tomas Soucek (above) opened up at the struggles of playing top-flight football over Christmas

Tomas Soucek (above) opened up at the struggles of playing top-flight football over Christmas

Tomas Soucek (above) opened up at the struggles of playing top-flight football over Christmas

The midfielder (right) scored the winning goal in West Ham's 1-0 New Year's Day win at Everton

The midfielder (right) scored the winning goal in West Ham's 1-0 New Year's Day win at Everton

The midfielder (right) scored the winning goal in West Ham’s 1-0 New Year’s Day win at Everton

Soucek told BT Sport in his post-match interview: ‘It was hard for me (playing at Christmas) for the first time in my career. Normally I have three weeks off and I eat potato salad in the Czech Republic but it’s fine.

‘I love playing football at Christmas time and we had three difficult games in six days so it is really good that we get three days off (now).’

Soucek fired David Moyes’ side in front on 86 minutes after Everton defender Yerry Mina deflected Aaron Cresswell’s shot into his path.

The match at Goodison Park saw very few chances with goalkeepers Pickford and Darren Randolph rarely tested on Merseyside.

It is Soucek's (above) first winter in England since completing his £19million move to West Ham

It is Soucek's (above) first winter in England since completing his £19million move to West Ham

It is Soucek’s (above) first winter in England since completing his £19million move to West Ham

Soucek claims that West Ham’s spirit earned them the victory and the Hammers deserved the New Year’s Day victory.

He added: ‘I think that we created more chances and got in good spaces, but they kept more of the ball. The goal was deserved, we showed our spirit as we wanted to win all of the 90 minutes.

‘From 80 minutes I felt a bit of confidence and Michail could have scored as well. There were not many opportunities so we decided it at the end.’

It was Hammers boss Moyes’ first win at Goodison Park since the Scot left his role as Everton boss back in the summer of 2013.

Victory was West Ham boss David Moyes' (right) first win at Everton since leaving them in 2013

Victory was West Ham boss David Moyes' (right) first win at Everton since leaving them in 2013

Victory was West Ham boss David Moyes’ (right) first win at Everton since leaving them in 2013

Moyes was full of praise for Soucek though admitted the 25-year-old’s performance level was not at his usual level.

When asked about the Czech midfielder, Moyes told BT: ‘He’s been very important. He’s played better than tonight but he keeps coming up with the goals.

‘We had some really good performers and, look, Everton had a chance to go second tonight so to make sure we got something was important.

‘To come to Goodison and get three points and play as well as we did (was good). We played a good professional job.

Moyes praised his squad's reaction to playing three games in six days over Christmas

Moyes praised his squad's reaction to playing three games in six days over Christmas

Moyes praised his squad’s reaction to playing three games in six days over Christmas

‘The players have played three games in six days! Great credit to them and the way they went about it.’

Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti rued West Ham’s luck at Goodison Park, especially surrounding the Mina deflection which allowed Soucek to score.

The Italian said: ‘It was not a good game. The game was in the balance, it could have been a draw. We didn’t have the opportunities, we didn’t concede opportunities.

‘Unfortunately they had a lucky deflection, we lost the game but we could have played with more intensity and more quality up front.

Carlo Ancelotti (left) rued Moyes (right) and West Ham's luck in winning at Goodison Park

Carlo Ancelotti (left) rued Moyes (right) and West Ham's luck in winning at Goodison Park

Carlo Ancelotti (left) rued Moyes (right) and West Ham’s luck in winning at Goodison Park

‘In football you are sometimes lucky. We didn’t deserve to win, didn’t deserve to lose. We lost a point for the performance we had, we have to catch that point in the next game.

‘It’s a big step back, we had a fantastic period in the past, we went a little bit down today. It doesn’t affect our belief and our goals for the end of the season because we are (still) there.

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