West Ham manager David Moyes has dismissed the suggestion that the increased workload caused by a Europa League campaign would be a cause for concern.
The Hammers are firmly in the hunt for European football, lying in sixth place in the Premier League ahead of Saturday night’s trip to Brighton, live on Sky Sports Premier League from 7:30pm.
A continental campaign would stretch West Ham’s fairly small squad but Moyes says he is very keen on a Continental campaign.
“It’s what we do,” said the 58-year-old boss.
“You get to an age in football where you want it so badly now.
Brighton and Hove Albion
West Ham United
“I’m not going to be in football for forever – I can’t see me staying as long as Sir Alex Ferguson or Roy Hodgson – but I feel as though I’ve still got the best years to come.
“And I think that there’s a chance with West Ham to do things here.
“We may remember this conversation next year. You might remind me that I said I want European football, and I might be saying ‘what did I say that for?’.
“But at the moment we need a club which is developing, we need a club which is showing it’s making progress.
“There might be huge progress for us being in Europe next season, if we can make it. Because, let’s be clear, there’s a lot of clubs around us trying to get in Europe, that’s their aim.
“Our aim wasn’t to be in Europe, but mine was.
“I don’t think the general feeling of how West Ham would do would have had them there.
“But mine was to get West Ham European football and I’ve got three games to go to try and get them there.”
Reports have surfaced linking forward Marko Arnautovic, who thrived under Moyes during his first spell in charge of West Ham, with a return to the club.
The Austria international currently plays for Shanghai Port in China.
Moyes added: “Marko was great for me. I loved having him at the club because I liked the challenge of trying to manage him.
“He’s someone who maybe wasn’t easy at times but I actually quite enjoyed it.
“I would never rule Marko out – but I’m trying to move forward. I’m trying to build towards a new team, a new West Ham. I’m trying not to go back, if I can help it.
“It’s not to say that I would never go there. I would do, of course.
“We might get a chance to see how Marko plays in the Euros. I hope I do because I really like him.”
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