Given the timing of Craig Dawson’s equaliser, it’s hard to see West Ham’s 2-2 draw at Leicester City on Sunday as anything other than one point gained. rather than three lost.

Jarrod Bowen’s 10th minute opener looked to have set us on our way to a second consecutive double over the Foxes but, as the game wore on, cracks began to appear in our system that can only be explained by tiredness and fatigue.

West Ham have already played 35 games in 2021/2022 and only benefited – if you can call it that – from one Covid suspension. It means they’ve played more games than everyone around them in the table and are already looking tired for it.

With at least 16 games left to play in all competitions, this West Ham squad still has so much to play for in the Premier League, FA Cup and Europa League, but can only rely on the players that started the season to finish the job.

That’s because of David Moyes’ decision not to strengthen in the January transfer window. It was clear for all to see that we needed bodies in, especially up front and ideally in defence. Nothing happened, and now his squad is expected to play at least the equivalent of half a league season between the middle of February and May, on top of the close to full league season they’ve already played in 2021/2022.

The consequences of that decision are beginning to show. While West Ham’s form on paper reads pretty well, two defeats in our last nine outings in all competitions, the performances have told a completely different story.

Since the 1-0 defeat to Man United at the end of January, Moyes’ side hasn’t looked like the ruthless outfit they were before. Michail Antonio has often looked dejected and uninterested on his own up front, Tomas Soucek hasn’t been his usual battling self in midfield and Vladimir Coufal seems to be bereft of confidence for reasons unknown to those outside of the club.

They are just three players who seem to be struggling with the sheer volume of games they’ve been required to play. They have no adequate cover – Ben Johnson and Ryan Fredericks and cover for Coufal, but he does remain first-choice – and it’s showing.

Against Leicester on Sunday, it was clear something needed to change if we were to come away from the King Power Stadium with at least a point. Antonio had been all but absent in attack (two goals in 19 performances isn’t the kind of form you want from your only striker), Coufal and Aaron Cresswell were having shockers on either side of the defence and even Declan Rice looked powerless against the Foxes’ ability to get on the ball and launch attacks.

But Moyes barely had any answers from the bench. Said Benrahma did come on and looked lively, but Antonio’s ineffectiveness remained and Coufal continued to panic everyone time Harvey Barnes got on the ball, until he was replaced by Fredericks in the 67th-minute.

Thankfully, Craig Dawson’s 91st-minute equaliser arrived just in time, but it was clear from around the hour-mark on Sunday that while we did need to do better at exploiting Leciester’s inability to defend set-pieces, we desperately needed a different approach to attacking them in open-play. But we had run out of ideas, because there were none as backup waiting on the bench.

With so many games left to play, this is a huge worry. West Ham have a big opportunity to finish in the Premier League’s top-four, but they will not achieve that if they continue to play like they are.

And unfortunately, they’re playing like they are at the moment because they’re tired and in desperate need of help. Help didn’t arrive in January and it won’t arrive until the summer when it’s too late.

It might still work out, but the signs aren’t looking good right now.