Moyes relishing 'top four' opportunity

  • by Staff Writer
  • Wednesday, 12th January 2022

David Moyes says he is looking forward to Wednesday evening's rescheduled Premier League encounter with Norwich City - and an opportunity to return to fourth place in the table.

The Hammers relinquished their brief hold on fourth place before Christmas after losing 2-0 at Arsenal. However a win against The Canaries at the London Olympic Stadium tonight could see West Ham rise above the Gunners - a test which Moyes is relishing.

Embed from Getty Images

"They have a different fight [to us]," said Moyes, speaking ahead of tonight's game. "They have a fight to stay up but I do not think any teams have been cut off. There is a chance for a fight between the bottom five teams.

"Norwich will see every game as an opportunity, but I see it as an opportunity for us to try and keep challenging the teams at the top, to keep annoying them and make them think that we're not going away."

And Moyes insisted that any team managed by the experienced Dean Smith will always provide a challenge. "The thing about Norwich is they have a really good manager in Dean," he said. "He only took the job recently and it will take a little time for things to get sorted there.

"When you look back at what Dean did at Walsall, Brentford and the work he did in getting Aston Villa up, you would have thought he would have been given that little bit more time. I think the Aston Villa were a very good squad, as you can see.

"Dean got them promoted and they stayed in the Premier League. They built on it and then sold their best player, so I think you have to consider that.

"But I'm pleased for Dean, Norwich is a good club which gives managers a chance and an opportunity. It's not all about the next win and I hope it's given a chance to work, because it has worked at all the other clubs he has been at."

Meanwhile the boss once again expressed his dissatisfaction with the timing of the rearranged match, which was originally planned for the week before Christmas but postponed at the behest of City.

"I've made my point that I felt that it was incorrect that this game should be put in now," he said. "But, we are focused on the game now and moving on. We have to get the players in the right place.

"We have to play when we're told to play and we will keep our focus on the games, but it's been difficult for the decision-makers to fit games in and I respect the job they have to do.

"At times you question whether they understand what the football clubs do and the strain it puts on the management staff to get the teams ready and get them prepared for so many games.

Embed from Getty Images

"We've just come out of a really, really busy schedule and we've had no games off due to anything related to Covid. Yet for some reason we're pushed in as the first rearranged game in the calendar which I find extremely strange - but we'll go ahead and get on with it."

That determination and preparedness has been key to West Ham's good form this season - which Moyes believes they have found again, following a run of tricky fixtures in what was a hectic December.

"It's down to the players and their mentality and, hopefully, it is a changed mentality," he said. "Keeping focused and not coming off the job.

"We had a few weeks where we were a bit up and down but there is a sense we are coming back into form and scoring goals again. We are looking more lively and looking forward to getting some players back from injury in the coming weeks and months, so that will help as well.

"I was really pleased with the two wins [against Watford and Crystal Palace] and the cup win against Leeds United, as that is like three Premier League wins in a row. Norwich is another challenge in itself and we will treat it in the same way we have treated the other ones."

* Something to say about this story? Please visit the KUMB Forum to leave a comment.

More News