David Moyes has admitted that guiding West Ham to a top four finish would be his biggest achievement in football, after having endured a difficult spell in his managerial career in recent times.
The Scotsman earned huge plaudits for his impressive work at Everton during his 11-year spell at Goodison Park, helping the club regularly challenge for European football, before departing for the unenviable job of replacing Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.
Following a dismal ten months at Old Trafford, Moyes then spent another brief spell in charge at Real Sociedad, before succumbing to relegation as manager of Sunderland in the 2016/17 season.
A short stint with the Hammers following the sacking of Slaven Bilic saw Moyes guide the club away from safety, yet the club then decided not renew his contract, before once again calling upon him to bail them out of trouble midway through last season.
After avoiding relegation last term, Moyes was kept in place for the current campaign and has since gone on to enjoy a stellar season at the London Stadium, with Champions League football a very real possibility as the Hammers fight it out for a top-four spot.
Those hopes of a place in Europe’s elite competition could be bolstered this weekend, as they host top-four rivals Leicester City on Sunday afternoon.
Asked by Sky Sports if finishing in the top four would be his biggest achievement, Moyes said: “I think it would be.
“I’d been at Everton for three years by then so that would mean it would be a bigger achievement given we’re already competing. But the main issue is you want to be a club that is in contention for European football regularly.
“It’s the sign of a big club if you have got European football but we’re still a long way away from that. If we can scrape into one of the competitions this year, it would be a start and another building position. The goal would then be to try to make it more regular in order to return the club to the level it’s been at many years ago.
“It would not be something new for the club, but it would be new in the modern era of West Ham. I still feel the Premier League has an established order.
“There’s a lot of teams knocking at the door to see if they can get in, and I think there’s a few of the big teams worried about it because we see that in other situations and other developments with talk of a new [breakaway] league, but here at West Ham we are just starting the process to try and challenge.
“We are having a really good season at the moment, we are trying to stick with it and we are not hiding from the fact we believe we are outsiders. But we also believe we have got a great opportunity so why do not we try to attack it full on?
“I feel the big teams will remain the big teams because their finances will always help them. The other teams will try and challenge but Leicester were a great example as nobody thought they could win the Premier League.
“I think most people will not expect us to make Champions League, so I hope we can try to do something very similar to what Leicester did when they went on to win the league.”
The 57-year-old breathed new life into a side that had been languishing at the wrong end of the table in recent years, with a few key purchases and ‘consistency’ changing the club’s fortunes.
“We have built on where we finished last season and managed to buy one or two players that have helped us along, but more importantly the mentality both on and off the field has changed,” he added. “We are demanding more from them and consistency is the biggest thing that we have been looking for.
“Consistency is the key reason we are where we are. We have picked up some really good results this year. We have had some games where perhaps we have been a bit fortunate, but you have got to carry a bit of luck when you are fighting near the top. The determination of the players has been at the highest level and the recruitment of players has really worked.
“We keep trying to add young players to turn us into a young, hungry team. They have shown their determination to try and stay up there for most of the season and I hope we can do that in the remaining games as well.”