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By Martin Graham | 22nd Apr 2023
West Ham United manager David Moyes is ecstatic after his side’s performance which saw them book their ticket to the UEFA European Conference League semi-final on Thursday.
It is the Hammers’ second straight European semi final, following their run up to the semi-final of the UEFA Europa League last season.
Things were much better for the Irons last season, however, but there are a few similarities. The distraction of European football proved a bit too much for the side to manage and their performance struggled in the Premier League, leading to their drop into the Conference League places at the end of the season.
They are currently in the same boat, as they have performed greatly in the Conference League while struggling to stay afloat in the Premier League. The threat of relegation has never been more apparent for the club, who had made a name for themselves as a potential top six team in the past few seasons.
Moyes, however, is happy about reaching another semi-final and believes that this performance will spur them on to finish strongly this season.
“Look, I felt a big relief because we hadn’t played well in the first game against them, and losing a goal in the first half was terrible and I was thinking, my goodness, this is maybe going against us tonight,” he said after the game.
“But we were the better team, even in the first half I thought. We got back in the game and then we missed two brilliant chances to go ahead before we got the penalty kick.
“It was a big relief when we got the third goal because it put complete daylight between us and the thought of getting to a European semi-final two years in a row with West Ham was special.”
Then he spoke on how the match could be a confidence booster and a path to continued success for the team.
“You want these big nights, you want to get used to it. Great credit to the players, it really is for them to do this.
“We’ve got a lot of new players this year too, but we won the group last year, we won the group this year as well. We got through big games last year and now we’ve got through another couple of big games and we’ve got to a semi-final.”
“You know what I’m going to say though – we’ve got to go one stage further this time, so I hope the experience we had for the game last year, the way the game went, we can maybe try to use that.”
“Maybe we’re running into a little bit more form. We scored four tonight and I thought we could probably have scored seven if we had been really clinical.”
“Overall, I’m thrilled with how the players have done it, and on the back of a good result at the weekend hopefully it keeps our confidence up.”
Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer
Source : MyFootballFacts