David Moyes praised the way his West Ham stars overcame their European exit to beat Norwich and revealed the motivation to keep winning games.
The Hammers were in touching distance of reaching the Europa League final. But they lost out 3-1 on aggregate to Eintracht Frankfurt. To have come so close would have been a kick in the teeth for all connected with the club.
However, they bounced back to beat the Canaries 4-0 at Carrow Road. Said Benrahma scored twice in the first period while Michail Antonio ended his drought to bag on the half-hour mark.
Manuel Lanzini scored from the penalty spot after the interval to put the gloss on a resounding triumph. And Moyes felt his charges being able to overcome Thursday night’s blow was key to their victory.
“It was big that we turned in a good performance and result after one of the biggest disappointments we’ve all had in a long time,” he told BBC Sport. “Great credit to the players; they got themselves ready and got three important points.
“Any manager would think there is a chance of a hangover because you never know, the way football is.”
And the Scot revealed the incentive for his West Ham players to keep going right until the end of the campaign.
“We are desperate to get back into Europe. We’ve had an unbelievable experience,” he added. “It isn’t something West Ham have had regularly, and not for a long time. The supporters enjoyed it and we had a great trip.
“We are trying to get into the Europa League or Conference League.”
Smith pulls no punches on Norwich failings
Norwich’s goose has already been cooked as regards staying in the Premier League. They have taken just 21 points this term and sit rock bottom of the table.
Another season in the Championship beckons. And manager Dean Smith felt Sunday’s reverse was a snapshot into why the East Anglians are where they are.
“You can’t give goals away against quality teams. The two goals against us today sum up our season,” he told BBC Sport. “We’ve been OK with the ball but nowhere near good enough without it. When a team like West Ham go two goals up it is hard. It becomes a damage-limitation exercise.”
However, Smith made it clear that his men will give it all they have over their remining three games.
“We’ve still got £2m to play for by finishing 19th; that is a big amount of money and we’ve got to go for it,” he added.