David Moyes is excited for a European challenge after West Ham confirmed a sixth-place finish on the final day of the Premier League season.
West Ham have had a remarkable campaign towards the higher berths in the table. They were even in contention for a Champions League place until recently. Moyes had admitted he would be content with any kind of European football, and ultimately settled for the Europa League.
It is the reward for a season of huge progress at the London Stadium. Some of their fans were back at the ground to see them over the line and congratulate them on their efforts.
There were no problems in the end as they beat Southampton 3-0, with Pablo Fornals scoring two goals and setting one up for Declan Rice.
Now, West Ham can plan ahead for a season in which they will be active in four competitions: the Premier League, FA Cup, EFL Cup and – most excitingly of all – the Europa League.
Moyes was elated after the final whistle against Southampton.
He told Sky Sports: “It was great to be able to show our appreciation [to the fans]. They’ve supported the way we’ve played all season. The players have been fabulous.
“Our goal was to try and get [into Europe]. I was a little disappointed [at missing out] on the Champions League. I wanted to stay in it right to the end, but it’s been an incredible effort from the players.
“I’d like West Ham to be a club competing at the top end of the table rather than the bottom. We have a chance of building and staying in that area.
“The praise tonight is for the players for what they’ve done this season. They’ve allowed us to be critical of them and demand improvements, and they’ve done that all year.
“We’re thrilled we’re in European competition. We go into the new season trying to play as well in the Premier League as we can, and we’ll try and enjoy the European games as well.”
He added: “It’s a huge achievement from where we came from. To jump this far is absolutely huge.
“I think there’s signs West Ham are beginning to pull together. We walked around the pitch last season having just stayed up and people said that was a success!
“I hope we enjoyed what we felt today, being in a big game that meant something. It’s been a tough year in football but overall it’s been a good year for us.”
Moyes addresses Lingard future again
One of the most important players in West Ham’s season was Jesse Lingard, who had a brilliant impact after joining on loan from Manchester United in January.
There are doubts over whether West Ham can make that move permanent, but Moyes is hoping so.
The manager said: “I hope Jesse’s here, we’d like to keep him. He’s done an exceptional job for us but there’s no guarantees, he’s not our player.
“But I hope Jesse realises we’ve been good for him as well, and that he joined a club on the up.”