David Moyes feels West Ham are hitting their stride after ‘excellent week’

Declan Rice scored again for the Hammers but received a word from his manager early on during the 4-0 win.

George Sessions
Sunday 23 April 2023 17:21 BST
David Moyes watched West Ham thrash relegation rivals Bournemouth to boost their survival hopes (Steven Paston/PA)
David Moyes watched West Ham thrash relegation rivals Bournemouth to boost their survival hopes (Steven Paston/PA) (PA Wire)

David Moyes lauded West Ham’s excellent week after they backed up qualification for the Europa Conference League semi-finals with a 4-0 win at Bournemouth.

The Hammers travelled to the south coast on a high after an emphatic three-goal victory over Gent on Thursday kept them on course for a first trophy in 43 years.

It has been a different story domestically with West Ham largely battling to stay out of the Premier League relegation zone all season but they produced a clinical display at the Vitality Stadium to move up to 13th and six points clear of the bottom three.

Midweek goalscorers Michail Antonio, Lucas Paqueta and captain Declan Rice netted in the first half and substitute Pablo Fornals hit a brilliant fourth with a back-heeled effort late on to cap off a brilliant seven days for the club.

“It was an excellent win,” Moyes reflected.

“We got off to a great start and especially after the midweek game, it gave us a real lift.

“I though the players went into the game with a lot of confidence and self belief from reaching another semi-final and obviously we had a really good comeback against Arsenal.

“It has been an excellent week and I’ve got to say the players have done a great job, you can sense they are gaining a bit of confidence and we are looking a little bit more like ourselves in terms of scoring.

“We got four in midweek, we got four today and two before that so we are seeing signs we are becoming more of a team who can score which has been a problem for most of the season.”

Hammers captain Rice was again impressive and struck his fourth club goal of the season but Moyes revealed he had a word with the England midfielder during the first half.

While the travelling West Ham support spent much of the win serenading the 24-year-old and urging him to ‘stay another year’ amid talk of a move away from the London Stadium, his manager was more measured.

Moyes added: “I told him that I didn’t think his passing had been good enough in the opening part of the game and that is because his standards are so high.

“But I am not just going to pat him on the back all the time. Too much praise makes you soft!

“I have been saying it for a long time, he’s a top player.

“But look, I can’t say too much because I talk so glowingly about him and I want to make sure the other players realise they are as important, if not more important.

“They have to keep stepping up, we all have to keep stepping up to make sure we keep going. We’re in good momentum and we have still got quite a lot to play for.

“We’ve still got to make sure we’re a Premier League club and we’re in the semi-finals of a European competition now, so if we can keep this run going until the end of the season, it will give us a great chance.”

Bournemouth boss Gary O’Neil received comforting words from his opposite number at full time but acknowledged defensively it was not good enough.

“David said to me afterwards it was never a 4-0 game and we obviously dominated the ball but if you watch West Ham, they have real strengths,” O’Neil explained.

“And yeah. not good enough in both penalty areas. West Ham have a couple of real strengths and we weren’t able to cope with them basically.

“Whatever happened in between becomes irrelevant if you are not able to deal with one of their key strengths.”

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