David Moyes has urged West Ham to attack their dream of finishing in the Premier League top four, an achievement he feels would be his best as a manager.
West Ham are fourth in the Premier League ahead of hosting third-place Leicester City in a huge encounter on Sunday.
According to reports, Michail Antonio could miss the rest of the season and Moyes has confirmed the forward has a hamstring strain.
Declan Rice is also ruled out for West Ham, who face massive stakes in their eight-game run-in, which starts with the key clash against the Foxes.
Leicester were the last non ‘big six’ team to finish in the top four in 2016, ending an 11-year wait after Moyes was in charge of the previous team do it (Everton in 2005).
— West Ham United (@WestHam) April 9, 2021
But Moyes thinks reaching the top four with West Ham would top that.
“I think it would be [even greater],” he said to Sky Sports.
“I’d been at Everton for three years by then so that would mean it would be a bigger achievement given we’re already competing.
“[European football] would not be something new for the club, but it would be new in the modern era of West Ham.
“I still feel the Premier League has an established order – there’s a lot of teams knocking at the door to see if they can get in.
“A few of the big teams are worried about it because we see that in other situations and developments with talk of a new [breakaway] league.
“We are having a really good season at the moment, we are trying to stick with it and we are not hiding from the fact we believe we are outsiders.
“But we also believe we have got a great opportunity so why do not we try to attack it full on?
“This time last year, we had to win games in order to stay in the Premier League so we’re actually all feeling very light and not heavy.
“We’ll try to take a few risks, try to go for it and see if we can win them. The aim is to try to finish around the top end.
“I think most people will not expect us to make Champions League, so I hope we can try to do something very similar to what Leicester did when they went on to win the league.
“Nobody thought they could win it.”
— Leicester City (@LCFC) April 9, 2021
West Ham are winless in five home matches with Leicester (D2 L3), losing 2-1 last season.
Ahead of the game, Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers backed striker Jamie Vardy to emerge from a goalscoring slump that has seen him score just once in 17 matches.
“The team has still been winning,” Rodgers said. “What’s most important for Jamie is you have to continue to work, make runs and sometimes you just need that bit of luck.
“He has created a number of opportunities for us. We know his threat and he can score any time.
“Jamie has just been very unfortunate, between keepers making saves and blocks on the line and some chances that, maybe, he would have put away.
“He is always going to be there. He is such a threat, his sharpness and speed, he is such an important player for us.”
West Ham are looking to record their first Premier League double over Leicester since the 1999-00 season under Harry Redknapp.
The Hammers have the second-best home record in the Premier League (28 points), while Leicester have the second-best away record so far this term (34 points).
League leaders Manchester City are the team at the top in both categories.
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