West Ham manager David Moyes hopes he can replicate the success of ‘serial winner’ José Mourinho in the European Conference League.
On Thursday, the Premier League team will play the first leg of the round of 16 against AEK Larnaca, heading to Cyprus at the height of a tough domestic season.
A two-leg win will take West Ham to a second consecutive European quarter-final as they reached the bottom four of the Europa League last season.
Ahead of the game, Moyes dismissed the idea that success in third-tier competition on the continent represented a setback, pointing to Mourinho’s success with Roma in 2022 as something to strive for.
“If you look at the number of people in football, very few get that big opportunity (to win trophies),” he said. “Jose Mourinho showed you how much (winning) cared about him because he is a serial winner.
“Last year we desperately wanted to win the Europa League, but we couldn’t get past the semi-finals. We have a job to try to reach the quarterfinals.
Next stop: Larnaca. pic.twitter.com/HJ536Grp54
— West Ham United (@WestHam) March 8, 2023
“If we’re talking about West Ham reaching the quarter-finals (in Europe) twice in a row, I think that would be a hell of an achievement.”
Roma became the first European Conference League winner last season, beating Feyenoord 1-0 in the final in Tirana.
Meanwhile, Moyes saw his team crash out of the FA Cup against old club Manchester United last week and with his side stuck in a relegation battle, the Scot knows European success is a big opportunity for his side.
“I would like to win the competition,” he added. “I would like to be in the final. I would like to continue progressing at West Ham in Europe.
“I don’t underestimate or take it for granted for a minute because we have a tough game. We never know exactly how things will go.”