David Moyes has no concerns about the increased workload a Europa League campaign would bring West Ham and says he wants it “so badly”.
The Hammers are firmly in the hunt for European football, lying in sixth place in the Premier League ahead of Saturday night’s trip to Brighton.
A continental campaign would stretch West Ham’s small squad to the limits but Moyes insisted: “It’s what we do.
“You get to an age in football where you want it so badly now.
“I’m not going to be in football for forever – I can’t see me staying as long as Sir Alex Ferguson or Roy Hodgson – but I feel as though I’ve still got the best years to come. And I think that there’s a chance with West Ham to do things here.
“We may remember this conversation next year, you might remind me that I said I want European football, and I might be saying ‘what did I say that for?’.
“But at the moment we need a club which is developing, we need a club which is showing it’s making progress.
“There might be huge progress for us being in Europe as next season, if we can make it. Because let’s be clear, there’s a lot of clubs around us trying to get in Europe, that’s their aim.
“Our aim wasn’t to be in Europe, but mine was. I don’t think the general feeling of how West Ham would do would have had them there. But mine was to get West Ham European football and I’ve got three games to go to try and get them there.”
Reports have surfaced linking forward Marko Arnautovic, who thrived under Moyes during his first spell in charge of West Ham, with a return to the club.
Moyes added: “Marko was great for me. I loved having him at the club because I liked the challenge of trying to manage him.
“He’s someone who maybe wasn’t easy at times but I actually quite enjoyed it.
“I would never rule Marko out – but I’m trying to move forward. I’m trying to build towards a new team, a new West Ham. I’m trying not to go back if I can help it.
“It’s not to say that I would never go there. I would do, of course. We might get a chance to see how Marko plays in the Euros. I hope I do because I really like him.”