Starlet West Ham United midfielder Josh Cullen has stated his desire to make an impact in the club’s fight for survival in the Premier League over the final few months of the 2017/2018 campaign.
Cullen, 21, returned from a loan spell with Championship Bolton Wanderers back in January and has been kept on since to help his boyhood club try to beat the drop.
Speaking exclusively to West Ham’s Official Website, the former Bradford City Player of the Year had this to say about the first half of his season and returning to East London,
“It’s been great to be back. Obviously being out on loan at Bolton for the first half of the season was more valuable experience for me, playing in the Championship and getting some more games under my belt and developing as a player for a further six months”, proclaimed Cullen.
“There was a change in manager, so I was keen to come back here and show the new manager what I was all about and try and impress him, so I came back and played in a few games and have been back in the mix. Hopefully, I’ve done enough to show him I have a future at the club”.
Since coming back from Lancashire the Academy Product has made several English Top-Flight matchday squads, but is still to appear in the league since his debut away at Liverpool in August 2016.
In addition to this, the youngster did enjoy three starts in the Emirates FA Cup, catching the attention of the footballing world in an away tie with Shrewsbury Town for soldiering on after having his front teeth knocked out.
Here is what the hungry young charge had to say about his first few months under David Moyes and how he impressed in those aforementioned clashes, avoiding the fate of his counterpart Reece Burke, who joined back up with Phil Parkinson’s team for the rest of the campaign.
“I did enough to warrant staying on for the rest of the season, which I’m doing now, and hopefully I can push on again and try to push from being on the bench and in the squad to being in the team and getting some appearances before the end of the season.”
“I had a couple of conversations with the gaffer about what was best for me and we came to the decision that it was best for me to stay here, and I was up for that challenge”.
The holding central midfielder continued, “I never for one minute thought that I would stay and go straight into the first team, but I’m up for the fight and hopefully, as time goes on, I can keep impressing him in training.
“It was a good sign that he wanted to keep me around, so hopefully I can keep developing and hopefully my chance will come and, when it comes, I can take it.”
But, just how much has Cullen enjoyed training with the likes of 2016 European Championships winner Joao Mario and Mexico’s all-time leading goal-scorer Javier Hernandez?
“As a young player, you have to take every day training with those players as experience. People say about getting experience by going out on loan, but coming back and training with the quality of players we have got at this Club is an experience in itself and one which should help develop me as a player.
“Going up against those players is a great challenge for me and hopefully I can push them and create some healthy competition, and that they know I’m here and pushing for a first-team spot. It will also push me on as I know I have to be even better to get into the team, so it’s good to have that competition around.
“I’ve just got to stay patient, keep doing what I am doing in training, keep working and when the manager calls upon me, make sure I’m ready, I do myself justice when I go out there and do as well as I know I can,” declared the former U23 star.
With injuries to the likes of Pedro Obiang and Edimilson Fernandes in midfield, the exciting prospect is likely to get his chance over the final few months of 2017/2018 to help Moyes’ side remain afloat in the PL.
This could well start with the Saturday visit of Burnley to the London Stadium, a must-win for the hosts who occupy 14th place in the table and are just three points above the bottom three.