Guiding West Ham to European final would be my biggest achievement, says David Moyes


David Moyes says reaching a European final would be his biggest achievement as a manager as West Ham prepare to face AZ Alkmaar tomorrow.

The Irons take on the Dutch side in the first-leg of their Europa Conference League semi-final at the London Stadium, looking to reach a first European final since 1976, with the return to follow in the Netherlands next week.

Moyes has enjoyed numerous highlights during his 25-year managerial career, taking Everton into the Champions League and an FA Cup final, as well as reaching last year’s Europa League semi-final with West Ham, but is yet to lift a major trophy.

However, the 60-year-old cited the example of Jose Mourinho, who won last year’s inaugural Conference League with Roma, as evidence of the competition’s value.

“To get to a European final, it could be my best [achievement],” he said. “In the past I've got to a Champions League quarter-final with Manchester United, lost on penalties in the quarter-final of the Europa League with Everton and last year we reached a semi-final here at West Ham.

“I want to try and take it a couple of steps further, and I would refer back to the serial winner Jose Mourinho – who found winning this trophy so special for him and his football club.

“If ever I needed somebody to show how hard it was to win a trophy, and he treated it as if it was so important.”

At times this season, Moyes has appeared on the brink of the sack, with West Ham stuck in a relegation dog fight.

However, Sunday’s 1-0 victory over Manchester United has left the Hammers seven points clear of relegation with just three Premier League games to play and Moyes can go into Thursday’s encounter with full focus on Europe.

“We can breathe a little more easily after the result at the weekend,” Moyes added. “Our results in Europe have been really good, scoring goals and winning both home and away.

“We have to keep that going and if we do then we have a great chance of getting to the final. But first, we have an opponent who we cannot underestimate in any way.”