West Ham United 3-0 Southampton – Reaction
Record Premier League points – A top-six finish – Europa League football confirmed – David Moyes reflected upon a job well done after overseeing West ham United’s routine 3-0 victory at the London Stadium in front of 10,000 returning Hammers supporters.
Pablo Fornals bagged a first-half brace to settle any pre-match tension. And although Southampton had their chances, Declan Rice finished the job in the final stages to confirm the East Londoners European return with some to spare.
“It is a huge achievement from where we came from and probably expectations as well,” Moyes enthused.
“We finished outside the bottom three last year and that was seen as an achievement and now we are calling this another achievement being in Europe.
The Scotsman continued: “I think this has been one of the biggest steps we have ever made. I think to jump this far so quickly has been absolutely huge. great credit to the players I think they have been brilliant from the start.
“We lost the first two games of the season and maybe we were questioned a little bit but you have to say they have been so good so so good.”
Speculation continues to mount over the futures of Rice and loanee Jesse Lingard. Nevertheless, Moyes was hopeful that both would still be around to boost the Hammers Europa League adventures.
“I hope Jesse is here, we would like to keep him but there is no guarantee, he is not our player. He has done an exceptional job for us on loan and we will see where we go from there.
“I hope Jesse will also appreciate that West Ham has been good for Jesse. I think he was in a place where maybe there are not many other clubs where what he has done here would have happened for him.
“We have given him an opportunity and a platform – a group of players that were in good form going into January, Jesse helped us but he joined a group of players with momentum and a club that was doing well and on the up. So, yes, I would like to keep Jesse.”
On Rice, recently linked with his boyhood favourites, Chelsea, Moyes added: “I don’t think David Sullivan, David Gold or myself have any intention of losing Declan Rice.
“We have just qualified for Europe, I think it is a brilliant achievement and Declan is a big part of that and we want him to be a big part of what we do next year as well.”