David Moyes: We have good memories of Wolves
David Moyes says facing Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday will evoke good memories of his team's first win of the 2020/21 Premier League season back in September.
The Hammers will be aiming to complete a first-ever Premier League double over the Molineux side when they travel to the Midlands, having defeated Nuno Espirito Santo's men 4-0 at London Stadium to kick-off a fine run of form which has seen the Hammers rise up to the top six of the table.
It was a game, in fact, that Moyes was forced to watch from home after suffering a positive COVID-19 test at that point of the season, but the manager was able to enjoy the contest thanks to the work of his staff and players, which saw them overwhelm the visitors.
Now, with the return meeting on the agenda, Moyes is eyeing another three points to set his team up perfectly for the finishing stretch of the campaign.
"I remember from the home game, Pearcey was on the phone and my telly had a one minute lag before it was coming through," Moyes recalled. "I’d be phoning him and he said: ‘We’ve just scored’. So it was great watching the telly knowing that we were waiting for the goal coming in!
"I’ve got to say the staff did a brilliant job and carried it off really well. Beating Wolves and Leicester were two enormous victories for us at that time and not only that, but we won well too with good goals in them, which gave our goal difference a starting point at that early part of the season too.
"In our heads we felt we were going to have to do things differently in that game - we started against Newcastle with a four at the back and Arsenal, who we played next, were playing at that stage of the season with five at the back, so I made my decision that we’d do that.
"It didn’t get us the result, but we were very close, and then Wolves had played that sort of system too, so I thought that was the right way to play and playing with that system got us a really good result.
"That gave us a kick-on and a lift at the start of the season and we went on a pretty good run since then. Yes, we’ve lost a few games, but we’ve been pretty much consistent from that point."
The Hammers know victory on Monday would take them back into the division's top four, and although Moyes remains reluctant to set targets for the remainder of the campaign, he knows the carrot of finishing in the top six is a huge carrot for the east Londoners.
With crucial games against the likes of Leicester City, Chelsea and Everton to follow, the Scot is challenging his players to maintain their consistency.
"It would be an incredibly big and positive step for a club who were near a relegation situation last year," he explained.
"For me, for us to even be talked about it is a big achievement. I hope we can hang in there, we’re still hanging to the coat-tails of one or two above us and I’m going to do everything I can.
"I would be absolutely thrilled to bring European football here, because probably the goals at the start of the season were to make sure we weren’t in a similar situation to last year – to keep doing better and improve and we’ve certainly done that."