David Moyes reflects on Marcelo Bielsa's work and Leeds United task as West Ham eye 'powerhouse' tag

DAVID Moyes says West Ham will face a tough test in Monday's Premier League clash against Leeds United, steered by an "incredible" coach in Marcelo Bielsa.

Friday, 5th March 2021, 6:28 pm

Moyes will face Bielsa for the second time in Monday's contest at the London Stadium which the Hammers approach riding high in sixth place.

West Ham are already on 45 points after 26 games played and three of those points were secured in December's 2-1 victory at Elland Road in which goals from Tomas Soucek and Angelo Ogbonna provided the perfect response to a Mateusz Klich penalty.

Moyes, though, has applauded 11th-placed Leeds' efforts as a newly-promoted side and says he now expects another hard assignment in Monday night's clash in London.

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PRAISE: For Leeds United and Whites head coach Marcelo Bielsa, right, from West Ham boss David Moyes, left, pictured during December's 2-1 victory at Elland Road. Photo by OLI SCARFF/POOL/AFP via Getty Images.

The Hammers boss also said the Whites were always destined to cause other sides in the Premier League problems given their style of play under their Argentinian head coach.

"You have to say, for a team coming into the Premier League, Leeds United have done very well stepping up," said Moyes at his pre-match press conference, as quoted by whufc.com"When we saw Leeds in the Championship, the way they played and their momentum, it was always going to cause teams problems – and it has done.

"It doesn’t matter who they’ve played, they’ve made chances, they’ve got opportunities, so we know how tough it's going to be.

"We got a good result at Elland Road and I hope we can back it up with a good result at London Stadium."

Bielsa was full of praise for West Ham and Moyes in his own pre-match press conference on Thursday ahead of a clash which Leeds approach sat 12 points clear of the drop zone.

The respect between the two managers is mutual.

"He's an incredible coach and has been throughout his career," said Moyes of Bielsa.

West Ham, meanwhile, would sit fourth in the table and in a Champions League spot if winning their game in hand.

Assessing his hopes for the future, Moyes reasoned: "I have to say first of all we're big outsiders for the Champions League - there are lots of teams there.

"I'm hoping we can shock a few. I don't think we're kidding anyone on that we think we're in a position to be in that place, but with the resilience and determination the players have shown, I don't think it would surprise me.

"We don't want to lose sight of the fact that main progress is so important - the position we're in at the moment is an incredible one, and we'll do everything we can to maintain the form we're in.

"If we didn't make it, we wouldn't beat ourselves up about it, but we want to give ourselves a fighting chance of being in and amongst it.

Moyes added: "West Ham were a powerhouse in London and the period certainly the supporters will remember were when they were the top team in London.

"We've got to aim to get back to it - it should be our ambition.

"You have to build players and get in a strong position to attract good players to come.

"If we can make European football, I think we'll be much more attractive as well.

"I think players want to see a stable club, a consistent club, and a club with a vision and a plan going forward."

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Thank you Laura Collins