David Moyes: West Ham must take advantage of top-four rivals’ weekend off

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Jack Rosser
·2-min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
 (Pool via REUTERS)
(Pool via REUTERS)

David Moyes has called on West Ham to grab the rare chance of a Champions League finish with both hands.

With top-four rivals Chelsea and Leicester both in FA Cup action this weekend, the Hammers have to chance to make a statement and go third for the first time in this most remarkable season, and Moyes does not want to let it slip.

For so long his message has been about hanging on in the race for Europe, but after last weekend's win over Leicester, the Scot's side are in the driving seat and it is not a position they want to relinquish at Newcastle tomorrow.

"I’ve just said to the staff this morning that you don’t get many opportunities to do this," Moyes said.

"We have to take every opportunity we can to get around the Champions League and be in it. If we can do it we will, but it is a long, long shot for us. I can’t see the bookies making us favourites to be in the top four.

"We’ve got a little bit closer to Leicester, but we know breathing down our necks are Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham, Everton and Arsenal. All teams that could catch us on the points front. We’re well aware of that but I don’t know what else we could do but turn up and play the next game, try and win it.

"We’ve got seven games to go. I’ve got my targets, the players know what they need to do. We’re not in any way stepping back from it, we’re going harder to make it happen. I’m not going to load the players with loads of pressure because there is a chance of being in the Champions League."

Moyes will again be without Michail Antonio and Declan Rice at St. James' Park tomorrow, but hopes Aaron Cresswell may be involved after being forced off with a hamstring problem last weekend. The defender was today undergoing a fitness test before a decision was made on whether or not to travel north.

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

Rice, meanwhile, is working tirelessly to return for the final Champions League push and the European Championship with England.

"Declan is training really well but it is all gym based at the moment," said Moyes.

"He is working really hard in the gym because he wants to get back as quick as he can - he knows he’s got the Euros in the summer as well. For any club to lose Declan Rice would be a big blow, but we’ve been able to carry it and I hope we can continue to do so."

Read More

Newcastle vs West Ham: Prediction, TV channel, h2h results, team news, live stream, odds

West Ham offered Eddie Nketiah transfer hope after Arsenal agree new Folarin Balogun contract

Harry Kane to leave Tottenham for Chelsea FC or West Ham? A London move could happen, claims David Ginola