David Moyes has acknowledged that the club may need to prioritize their battle against relegation in the Premier League and sacrifice their potential success in the Europa Conference League this season, writes the football.london.
The Hammers are currently positioned 18th in the league table, just one point adrift of safety, with only 12 matches remaining in their 2022/23 campaign. They are just one point ahead of Sunday’s opponents Southampton, who sit at the bottom of the table. Although West Ham’s Premier League season has fallen short of their objective of securing a third consecutive top-seven finish, their impressive performance in Europe has continued, having won all ten of their matches in the Europa Conference League this season. They have consequently secured a spot in the quarter-finals, where they will face Belgian side KAA Gent later this month.
In the previous season, West Ham encountered selection dilemmas towards the end of the season as they progressed to the semi-finals of the Europa League, defeating Olympique Lyonnais and Sevilla but losing in the last four stage against Eintracht Frankfurt. While Moyes guided the Hammers to the final stages of the Europa League, they were also competing for a top-six finish, which would have secured them another Europa League qualification, but they missed out by just two points.
However, the current season brings higher stakes for West Ham, as their priority is to avoid relegation from the Premier League. Despite their impressive performance in the Europa Conference League this season, winning all 10 matches and advancing to the quarter-final against KAA Gent, Moyes suggests that European football may have to take a backseat due to their battle for survival in the Premier League.
“There is a worry because we have got ourselves into such a good position and been so strong in Europe. We have been able to change the team in Europe and it has worked really well for us,” he said.
“This time last year, when we had games against Seville and Frankfurt, we needed our best teams to win.
“But last year in the Premier League the season was fine, we were trying to finish in the top six and just fell out of it on the last day of the season.
“So the truth is that it could have an effect on it because the Premier League is vital for us and we are going to have to try to plot our way through that and the European games.”