Moyes hoping West Ham can deliver for Dad
- Credit: Steve Blowers
Without seeing double, there will be two David Moyes at the Deutsche Bank Park tonight.
Seated high in the stands, David senior will be proudly looking down on his son in the West Ham United dug-out as the visitors look to overcome Eintracht Frankfurt in their Europa League semi-final, second-leg tie.
“I hope my lad still takes me to football at 86-years-old!” smiled the Hammers boss as he faces his biggest match since returning to the club in December 2019.
“Hopefully, we’ll be able to give my dad and brother a night to remember.
“It’s a big game for me and to get to a semi-final in any European competition is huge but I still want to go further and take this team all the way to the final.
“We’ve got a bit to do but we’ve been doing things in the build-up to make the players ready and positive for this return and, while people talk about our resilience and character, we’ll need to show both of those attributes and even more."
Reflecting on their 2-1 defeat at London Stadium seven days ago, the 59-year-old Moyes added: "Sure, we’ve got to chase the game. But equally they’ve got to protect a very narrow lead too.
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"We’re coming into this second leg as the away team and we will obviously need to manage the game correctly but so do Eintracht because they’ve only got their one-goal advantage and they must be worried about that too.
"Last Thursday, the two teams were quite even on the night and, if I’m honest, I think that we’re as good as our opponents. We missed six or seven big opportunities – we failed to make some key passes that probably would’ve made a difference to the result so we’ll need to show more quality.”
Moyes will certainly be looking for big performances from skipper Declan Rice and 16-goal, top-scoring, Jarrod Bowen but the Hammers boss insists it will not be just a two-man task in Germany.
“The stage is a semi-final so let’s hope that all the players – not just Declan and Jarrod - come to the table," he added.
"We need to get a whole team performance against a good side that plays counter-attacking football at high intensity and with energy, too.
“We can’t put too much on Declan’s shoulders, although I’m always telling him that he’s got to drive his teammates on and bring things back to the club from the England camp, when he goes away on international duty.
“The older fans will, quite rightly, remember some great performances from the likes of Sir Trevor Brooking but over the past couple of years, our mentality has started to change with this current group of players.
“Now, I want to start creating a new West Ham United, where youngsters come to London Stadium to see our up-and-coming players, like Declan and Jarrod. Nice things are being said about us but I’ve still got to drive us on to another level.”
Following last week’s sell-out at London Stadium, Moyes is under no illusions that his side will receive a hostile reception at Deutsche Bank Park from a partisan Eintracht crowd, who also know that their team is just 90 minutes away from the final in Seville, later this month.
“We’ve enjoyed the great atmospheres more than anything this season,” insists the West Ham boss. “Remember, only two years ago there were no people allowed into the stadiums so nights like these are exactly the sort of things that we want to experience when we play in Europe.
“Our matches against Sevilla and Olympique Lyonnais were big but this one is even bigger,” concluded Moyes, who no doubt will allow himself just a few seconds reflection before kick-off to glance up into the stands to acknowledge both his dad and brother.
“It’ll be special for them tonight but it’ll be even better if we can get them both to the final. The biggest thing for dad is that he enjoys the game but the biggest thing for me is to get us to Seville.”