David Moyes: West Ham in the Champions League would beat top-four finish with Everton

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Jack Rosser
·3-min read
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 (Manchester United via Getty Imag)
(Manchester United via Getty Imag)

David Moyes says taking West Ham into the Champions League would be a bigger achievement than when he finished in the top four at Everton.

The Scot qualified for the Champions League with the Toffees in 2005 - the only time they have done so in its current format - after finishing fourth above rivals Liverpool.

Moyes has done a remarkable job in his second spell at West Ham, brought back to save them from the drop and, in his first full season, taking them into the top four.

West Ham can move above Leicester City into third place with a win over Newcastle on Saturday and are firmly in control of their Champions League destiny, with London rivals Chelsea - also in the hunt for the top four - visiting east London next weekend.

And Moyes says taking the Hammers into the top four of the Premier League for the first time in their history would eclipse the job he did with Everton.

"This would be a bigger achievement because I have only been at West Ham for a year, this is my first full season," said Moyes.

"Last year when I came it was to avoid relegation. And even the time before it was to avoid relegation. So this was really the first time I have been given the chance to take the club from a pre-season to the end of the season. And I have got them challenging around the top.

"The reason why I would say this one is because I think I had been at Everton about three or four years when we got to the Champions League. We finished above Liverpool that year – we finished fourth, they finished fifth – and Liverpool went on to win the Champions League. So it gives you an idea of the quality of the teams.

"We can find this year we are competing with Chelsea and they could go on to win the Champions League, for example. It is just the level of the Premier League and the teams.

"For most of the seasons at Everton, that was the case. We did not always play in Europe and make the Champions League, that's for sure. But we tended to be challenging at the top and that is my aim with West Ham.

"We can try to challenge up around the top eight places if possible. That will not always be done, because at Everton we dropped out as well over the period.

POOL/AFP via Getty Images
POOL/AFP via Getty Images

"But if you are going to go on a journey and have some growth you are going to have times that are not going so quick. We have had a really good spurt growth this year and I hope that we can keep it going."

The Hammers have taken a three-goal lead in each of their last three games in the Premier league but have looked soft at the back after doing so, conceding three to Arsenal and two against both Wolves and Leicester in recent weeks.

Moyes knows they will need to tighten up to get over the line as they reach the pointed end of the season, but with the pressure on to finish in the top four, the former Manchester United manager says the players are relaxed and enjoying the challenge.

"If anything I think we’re becoming more relaxed," said Moyes.

"When we were coming to the business last year and the year before we were needing to score goals and get points to stay up or keep away from the bottom three.

"So we’re enjoying this new situation, we’re enjoying training, everybody is working hard and it’s been good fun on the training ground. We’ve built a good spirit and we’re hoping we can keep it going.

"I don’t think we need to add any more pressure.

"The position we have put ourselves in is incredible. I don’t know where we are going to finish.

"But the fact we’ve won two very difficult back-to-back games against Wolves and Leicester gives you an idea of our intent and what we’re trying to do."

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