David Moyes insists that if winning the Europa Conference League is good enough for Jose Mourinho then it is good enough for him as he prepares to try to lead West Ham United to its first European final in 47 years.
The Scot has taken the London club to a European semifinal for the second successive season and hopes to go one better this time by getting past Dutch club AZ Alkmaar.
West Ham has had a disappointing season in the Premier League and is not mathematically safe from relegation, but excitement is building ahead of Thursday’s home clash with AZ.
“To get to a European final, it could be my best one,” Moyes told reporters when asked where it would stand in his career if West Ham reaches the final in Prague.
“In the past, I’ve got to a Champions League quarter-final with Manchester United, lost on penalties in the quarterfinal of the Europa League with Everton and last year we reached a semifinal (of the Europa League) here at West Ham.
“I want to try and take it a couple of steps further, and I would refer back to the serial winner Jose Mourinho -- who found winning this trophy so special for him and his football club.”
Mourinho, who has won sack loads of much more prestigious silverware including the Champions League, won Europe’s third-most-important club competition with AS Roma last season.
West Ham, who were beaten by Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League semi-finals last season, will be favourites to reach the final, although Moyes is wary of an AZ side who are fourth in the Dutch standings.
“I think they are having an amazing season and we have a really tough opponent. Any Dutch team will be good. They play good football and are well coached,” Moyes said.
West Ham are likely to still be without central defender Kurt Zouma although Moyes said he is back in training following an ankle injury.
“He has just started back and we are just seeing how his ankle is,” Moyes said. “There is a good chance that tomorrow is too soon but we will see how he is.”
The other semifinal is between Fiorentina and FC Basel.
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