David Moyes has admitted guiding West Ham to a top four would be his greatest football achievement, having endured a rough patch in his managerial career lately.
The Scotsman received huge applause for his impressive work at Everton during his 11 years at Goodison Park, helping the club fight regularly for European football, before leaving for the unenviable job of replacing Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.
After a dismal ten months at Old Trafford, Moyes went on to spend another brief stint at the helm of Real Sociedad, before succumbing to relegation as Sunderland manager in the 2016/17 season.
A short stint with the Hammers following Slaven Bilic’s sacking saw Moyes pull the club away from safety, but the club then decided not to renew his contract, before asking him again to get them out of trouble in the middle of the last season.
After avoiding relegation last season, Moyes has been kept in place for the current campaign and has since enjoyed a stellar season at London Stadium with Champions League football a very real possibility as the Hammers are fighting for a place in the top four. .
Those hopes for a place in Europe’s elite competition could be boosted this weekend as they host Leicester City’s top four rivals on Sunday afternoon.
Ask by Sky Sports if finishing in the top four was his biggest achievement, Moyes said, “I think it would.
“I had been at Everton for three years at the time which would mean it would be a bigger achievement given that we are already competing. But the main problem is that you want to be a club that is regularly in contention for European football.
“It’s a sign of a great club if you have European football, but we’re still a long way from it. If we can get into any of the competitions this year, that would be a start and another building position. The objective would then be to try to make it more regular in order to bring the club back to where it was many years ago.
“It wouldn’t be something new for the club, but it would be new in the modern era of West Ham. I still think the Premier League has an established order.
“There are a lot of teams knocking on the door to see if they can get in, and I think a few of the big teams are worried about that because we see that in other situations and others. developments with talk about a new [breakaway] league, but here at West Ham we’re just starting the process of trying to challenge.
“We’re having a really good season right now, we’re trying to stick to it and we’re not hiding from the fact that we think we’re underdogs. But we also think we have a great opportunity, so why don’t we try to attack it thoroughly?
“I think the great teams will remain the great teams because their finances will always help them. The other teams will try to challenge, but Leicester was a prime example as no one thought they could win the Premier League.
“I think most people won’t expect us to be in the Champions League so hopefully we can try and do something very similar to what Leicester did when they won the league.”
The 57-year-old has breathed new life into a team that has languished on the wrong side of the table in recent years, with some key buys and ‘consistency’ changing the club’s fortunes.
“We built on the end of last season and managed to buy a player or two who helped us, but more importantly the mentality on and off the pitch has changed,” he added. “We ask more of them and consistency is the most important thing we are looking for.
“Consistency is the main reason we are where we are. We have had very good results this year. We’ve had games where we might have been a bit lucky, but you have to be lucky when you’re fighting near the top. The determination of the players was at the highest level and the recruiting of the players really worked.
“We are always trying to add young players to transform us into a young and hungry team. They have shown their determination to try to stay up there for most of the season and hopefully we can do that in the remaining games as well.
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