David Moyes accepted that Thursday’s European success against Gent had done little to ease the pressure on him with West Ham still involved in the closely fought Premier League relegation battle.
The Hammers put aside their domestic troubles in the Europa Conference League when they came from behind to defeat Gent 4-1 and advance to a semi-final against AZ Alkmaar with a 5-2 aggregate victory.
An excellent goal from Declan Rice highlighted an enjoyable night for the club at the London Stadium, but Moyes, whose position has been in doubt at times this season, reckons the buzz won’t last long if they find themselves closer to trouble after the trip. Sunday to Bournemouth. .
“Every game, as a manager, you come in feeling a level of pressure,” Moyes said. “Whether you’re at the top looking for points to win a title or at the bottom needing points to stay on top.”
West Ham have reason for optimism with the upward trend in recent weeks. They have picked up eight points from the last five league games, a run that includes wins over Fulham and Southampton, but the gap to the last three remains close.
“Since the World Cup, our level has been much better. We are scoring more goals and we have to continue like this”, added Moyes.
“With Thursday’s game in mind, I could make changes on Sunday as we have new players available. We’ll have to see what we have.
If the outlook has improved for West Ham, it has transformed for Bournemouth after back-to-back away wins over Leicester and Tottenham making it four wins from six, and Moyes said he believes the Cherries are on their way to staying on top.
“(Gary O’Neil) did a brilliant job for Bournemouth,” he said. “I see a very good team and they are almost safe and I think he has done a great job.
“They have games in their career where I can see them picking up points, which is important. They have won four of six and you have to give them a lot of credit for how they are doing.
“At this time of the season, if you are trying to win titles or stay on the sidelines, you have to find a way to win games and build momentum.
“They’ve beaten Liverpool and Tottenham and ran very close to Arsenal, so Bournemouth are showing good signs.”