David Moyes of West Ham United

Moyes: We want to finish the group off well

David Moyes has challenged his West Ham United side to become the first team in UEFA Europa Conference League history to claim a 100 per cent record in the group stages.

The Irons travel to the capital of Romania, Bucharest, to face FCSB in their final Group B fixture on Thursday, with a place in the round of 16 of the competition already secured thanks to five consecutive group-stage wins. 

With top-spot already secured, the manager confirmed some younger players at the Club would get an opportunity in Thursday’s fixture, while calling on the travelling squad to finish the group stage off on a high.

“The biggest motivation for us is that we’ve won the group and we now need to finish it off,” Moyes said. “We’re going to give some of the younger players an opportunity in the game. We’ve left the bulk of the players back home and we’re looking forward to the game. 

“There are still a lot of senior players involved and they all want to be playing, so hopefully we can go to FCSB and get that sixth victory.

There are a couple of young players that are going to start tomorrow night. We’re going to give them an opportunity.
David Moyes

“We’re not full of young players but there are a couple of young players that are going to start tomorrow night. We’re going to give them an opportunity, and maybe some of the others will get an opportunity as well, because in some of the other games we weren’t able to do so. 

“We hope we can do that, but we still want to win the game and we still want to finish the group off well. 

“Last year we won the group but, with Dinamo Zagreb at home, we didn’t quite win that last game. But this is another opportunity for us and the players have done great to put us in this position.”

Nayef Aguerd could be in line for his second competitive outing, after making his long-awaited debut against Silkeborg IF last week at London Stadium. 

The Moroccan was not involved away to Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday but Moyes is eager to get the centre-back more match minutes against FCSB.

Nayef Aguerd

He confirmed: “We hope Nayef can play again, hopefully as long as he can. We’re trying to get him back and these games have been really good for him. 

“We included him the squad from the start because we hoped he might be available for the last couple of games, and that’s the way it’s proved to be. Hopefully we can get him another good part of a game under his belt.”

Just shy of 2,000 members of the Claret and Blue Army will travel to Bucharest to cheer on the Irons, and the manager has expressed his gratitude for their support throughout the UEFA Europa Conference League group stages.

“We want to finish off the group with a win for our fans,” the Scot stated. “They’ve been great throughout and we’ll do everything we can to do that.

“The biggest priority now for us is the league. We’ve got this side of things done, in the UEFA Europa Conference League, and we’re so grateful for the support. We’ve also got a big game coming up on Sunday [at home to Crystal Palace in the Premier League] as well.”


Blackburn Rovers