West Ham boss Moyes hopes to 'crack Phillips code'

 
Kalvin Phillips of West Ham United during the UEFA Europa League 2023/24 round of 16 second leg training and press conference at Rush Green on March 13, 2024 in Romford, England. 

West Ham boss David Moyes hopes to "crack the code" that will restore Kalvin Phillips to top form.

The midfielder joined the Hammers on loan from Manchester City in January in an effort to preserve his England place at Euro 2024.

However, he missed out on Gareth Southgate's latest squad, with the England boss saying he "couldn't be confident" in Phillips' current form.

He made two starts in 16 Premier League appearances in 18 months at City.

"I hope we can crack the code before our time runs out," Moyes said.

Phillips has struggled for consistency since the move. After gifting Bournemouth a goal with virtually his first touch in a Hammers' shirt, he was then sent off in the defeat at Nottingham Forest on 17 February before being substituted at half-time in the home draw with Burnley on 10 March when his side were two goals down.

Asked why he left Phillips out of his England squad, Southgate said: "At the moment, I couldn't be confident on the performances Kalvin's had in the last few weeks that he could go into the field and do the job we know that he's capable of.

"That's perhaps the lowest it can get for him in terms of the last few months. Now he can just go for it and be himself."

It is Moyes' job to lift Phillips' spirits at the same time as maintaining a push for more European glory and a high enough Premier League position to secure qualification for a fourth continental campaign in a row.

"I have been trying to sign him for three years," Moyes said.

"I am speaking to him regularly because he is such a good boy to talk. He wants to listen, he takes the feedback and he wants to get better.

"We need to keep building his confidence up and he needs to keep working harder and hope something someday triggers for him to give him a lift.

"I know that someone will get the benefit because he is a top player. Other people have judged him that way already."

Seventh-placed West Ham host Aston Villa in the Premier League on Sunday at 14:00 GMT.

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