Hammers aim to 'sneak' into top-4 spot, says Moyes

West Ham's Michail Antonio celebrating after scoring his second goal in the 2-1 Premier League win over Burnley on Monday.
West Ham's Michail Antonio celebrating after scoring his second goal in the 2-1 Premier League win over Burnley on Monday.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • West Ham United manager David Moyes picked an attacking side and told them to "go for it" against Burnley and they responded with 22 shots on goal in a 2-1 Premier League win on Monday that puts them within touching distance of Champions League football next season.

The Hammers overtook Tottenham Hotspur to move into fifth in the table, three points behind Chelsea (61) in the final Champions League spot with four games left to play.

But unlike the Blues, who face runaway leaders Manchester City, Arsenal, Leicester and Aston Villa, Moyes' side have a favourable run-in, with Everton, Brighton, West Brom and Southampton to come.

The Scot believes that he can lead his team, who last played in the Europa League in 2016-17, to the elite Champions League for the first time.

"I'm hoping with four games to go, people still talk about us and the Champions League," the 58-year-old said.

"We want to take it down to the final day and try to sneak in. It will probably need us to win all four games. Europe would be an incredible achievement. I think I'll be disappointed if we don't get there now.

"Most of the games this season we've played very well. We've missed some players through injury which has affected us. We'll keep going, we're not going away."

Moyes welcomed back Michail Antonio from injury after a month out, and the English striker responded by netting twice.

"Michail made a great impact. He's come back in good condition, good shape... he's a big influence in the team and we're glad to have him back," Moyes said.

Having finished fifth from bottom last season with 39 points, Antonio is equally relishing the top-four fight and not the usual relegation battle West Ham have been enduring in previous years.

"I have been here a few years and there have been so many seasons we were fighting to stay in the league and now we have the opportunity for top four," he said.

"We are not going to give up on it. We will keep fighting and we will keep pushing."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 05, 2021, with the headline 'Hammers aim to 'sneak' into top-4 spot, says Moyes'. Subscribe