David Moyes is playing down West Ham’s European hopes despite the Hammers having the chance to climb above champions Liverpool on Tuesday.
The Scot has guided West Ham to 32 points from their first 19 games. That’s just two behind Liverpool. It means they can leapfrog Jurgen Klopp’s men and move into the top four with victory at Crystal Palace on Tuesday night.
They go into the game as one of the country’s most in-form teams. Add in two FA Cup victories and the Hammers have won five straight matches since the start of 2021.
Moyes, though, isn’t getting carried away.
The West Ham boss said: “We hope that we can continue that (form), but we’re not getting carried away with it. And we certainly don’t take it for granted. We’re not going to come out at West Ham and promise something that we can’t deliver.
“I wanted us to try and deliver something. I hoped that it was not going to be relegation. I hoped that we were going to be much higher than that. And we have done, we’ve got ourselves in a really strong position.
“We’re now in a position to try and look upwards, we’re trying to be ambitious in our own way.
“But we’re also trying to be respectful for where we’ve come from and (to) all the teams around us.”
Moyes admits that even if he did believe West Ham could qualify for Europe, he wouldn’t make it public.
He said: “I might tell the players that behind closed doors. But I certainly won’t come out and publicise it because I think quite often that’s when you get shot down. But I’m trying to be ambitious, I want us to move forward.
“I think you’d have to say that we’ve done quite a lot of that already this year. We’ve made big strides forward already and sometimes then folk want even more. I want more, but I know that it can only be small steps and we’re in amongst a number of good sides.
“As I said there are also a lot of good sides below us as well and we’re going to have to play really well to keep them away from us.”
Moyes still hopeful of transfer dealings
One area that Moyes is still trying to strengthen is attack.
The Hammers sold Sebastian Haller to Ajax. And hopes of landing Youssel En-Nesyri from Seville appear to have been scuppered.
It means Michail Antonio is now their only senior forward.
Moyes is certainly not giving up on bringing in new additions in the current window.
He said: “I would say I’m hopeful, but again I can’t promise anything.
“We don’t know, we’ve not got anything absolutely definite. We’re trying a couple of things at the moment, but they may or may not come off. So we’ll just have to wait and see.”