avid Moyes is in no doubt his West Ham side have what it takes to come from behind and reach the Europa League final tomorrow night – and aim to extend his father’s European tour in the process.
The Hammers trail Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 after last week’s first leg in London and need to produce a famous comeback to set up a final encounter with either Rangers or RB Leipzig in Seville next month.
Moyes’ 86-year-old father, David Snr., traveled to watch his son’s team on several occasions in the Hammers’ first run to a major European semi-final since 1976 and will be at Deutsch Bank Park on Thursday evening.
“It would be special,” Moyes said, when asked what a turnaround in front of his dad would mean. “It would be even better if it was the final! He wants it to be the final, so do I, and we all know that when we get to 86 or 87, we all hope that someone will take us to football.
“The most important thing is that he likes it, and for me, we come to the final.”
The Hammers’ success over the past two seasons has been, in part, a story of redemption for Moyes, whose career appeared to be in decline after difficult spells at Manchester United and Sunderland, before West Ham decided to renew his contract. at the end of its first charge.
The 59-year-old transformed the fortunes of the Irons in his second spell, transforming the club from relegation contenders into contenders for European glory and says Thursday’s game epitomizes both their rise and resurgence.
“I’ve been to two quarter-finals: a Champions League quarter-final with Manchester United and one with Everton in this competition,” he said.
“Being in the semi-finals with West Ham is huge for the club and I’m delighted to be in charge of the team. Not so long ago I was fighting relegation, it’s been a great rise and I don’t see why it can’t continue.
“There are games throughout your career and sometimes every time you come to a big game you think it’s the biggest one.
“But there are a lot of big games, a lot of ups and downs. It’s hard to be a winner all the time because everyone is fighting for that prize. But when you get this close, you think, ‘Is it my turn, my chance?’ I hope it’s my turn.”
Moyes also insists his side will not be inhibited by what is expected to be a hostile atmosphere tomorrow night, with Eintracht Frankfurt fans renowned for their support even taking over large sections of the Nou Camp as 30 000 people would have flooded the ground to watch their side. beat Barcelona in the quarter-finals.
“I actually think we enjoyed the atmospheres in the stadiums,” said the Scot. “We had an incredible atmosphere in Seville [in the last-16]. I’ve watched several games here – the national team, Frankfurt – and a lot of the atmosphere in the stadium has been great.
“It’s what the players want and what we want. For two years we have been watching without anyone in the stadiums. Football is for the fans and we want them to create a good atmosphere. Even if we are the visiting team, we can’t wait to see what Eintracht Frankfurt will show us in the stadium.
“It’s a big game for me too and the players, any player, anyone who has played football will tell you that the semi-final of a European competition is huge for anyone. “It’s big for me too. I want to take the team to the final. We think if we do it we can do it, so we have to deal with that.