David Moyes reminds West Ham squad of Europa Conference League importance

In charge: David Moyes  (Action Images via Reuters)
In charge: David Moyes (Action Images via Reuters)

David Moyes has reminded his West Ham players of the importance of the task at hand ahead of their Europa Conference League last-16 second leg.

The Hammers welcome Cypriot side AEK Larnaca to the London Stadium on Thursday night, leading 2-0 after last week’s first leg in Cyprus.

Michail Antonio’s first-half double ensured only a remarkable collapse will see West Ham eliminated, but with domestic form far more concerning Moyes is looking to build momentum in European competition.

Larnaca began this season in the Champions League qualifiers and Moyes does not want his team to miscalculate the task still lies ahead tomorrow night.

“We plan to change [the line-up] a little bit, but ultimately we need to be ready for the game,” Moyes said. “We want to qualify and we never take anything for granted. We don’t want to give the opponent any opportunity to get back in the game.

“It sure is a good opportunity. We worked hard last year to finish seventh in the league to get us to the Conference League and we’ve enjoyed it. We’ve still got a job to do and it’s important, it really is.”

West Ham developed a certain level of European pedigree last season when they knocked out Sevilla and Lyon on the way to the Europa League semi-finals, where they fell to eventual winners Eintracht Frankfurt.

Moyes added: “We’re expecting a big crowd and we’ve had great crowds over the last two seasons. The West Ham fans have enjoyed the big European games and they’ll all be hoping we can get to the quarter-finals and further as well.

“The big thing we really want is to get to the final, but we can’t do that unless we get to the quarter-finals first and that’s what we want to do.”