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David Moyes urges West Ham to ‘rebuild’ after securing European football next season

avid Moyes hailed Mark Noble’s fitting dispatch as his West Ham side shook off Manchester City’s title charge, and once again stressed the need to ‘come on again’ after the Hammers were granted a second season consecutive European football.

Jarrod Bowen’s first-half brace was canceled out by Jack Grealish’s deflected strike and Vladimir Coufal’s own goal after the break, but Riyad Mahrez’s Lukasz Fabianski penalty save earned a draw 2-2 in the Irons’ final home game of the season.

It was an emotional afternoon for the club as home fans bid farewell to club captain Noble for the last time, with the midfielder due to retire at the end of the season after an 18-year career.

Noble started on the bench but was given a standing ovation in the 77th minute and then honored again in a special post-match presentation.

“It would have been better if it was a win, but against the team we were playing against I think a draw was a great result for us,” Moyes said.

“It was appropriate for Mark Noble and rightly so he also played well, it wasn’t out of feeling, I thought we needed him to control the ball a bit better and pass the ball a bit better and he helped us for the last 15 or 20 minutes.”

The result, coupled with eighth-placed Wolves’ draw with Norwich, means the Hammers cannot finish below seventh place and are therefore assured of European football next season.

As things stand, they will play in the Europa Conference League, but Moyes’ men are just two points clear of Manchester United and a Europa League place before the final day of the campaign.

“Hopefully we can rebuild,” Moyes added. “We have to go again now, we have to take up the challenge. I think the biggest thing this year is that I wanted to challenge a lot of the top teams here, maybe we haven’t done that in the past. We did pretty well, we drew with Man City a few times here, we were close there, we lost 2-1, we beat Liverpool and Chelsea here.

“We’re showing we can compete but I feel like we have to try to build again, and especially when you lose people like Mark Noble who are so important to the dressing room and the club, so that’s a big work the next year or two.

“I’m happy because I thought when we started that staying in a similar position [to last season] would be really, really difficult. If you think of the big six clubs in England and the number of teams coming in, it’s very few. We had it last year and we’re really close this year.

“I want to try to get in among them, upset him if I can. I want to build and this next season will still be difficult for us, but for us to have European football is fantastic, whether we finish sixth or seventh. I prefer to finish sixth.

“The only disappointment I might have is that we couldn’t keep fourth or fifth place earlier in the season when we had those positions, but it was always going to be very difficult because we were trying to cope with European games. Most of the teams, if you look all over Europe, playing Thursday and Sunday, can’t keep up.

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