‘Goosed’ - Leeds United hope as David Moyes reveals West Ham United problem after Brentford loss
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Moyes’ side welcome Leeds United to the London Stadium on Sunday afternoon in a huge fixture for both clubs. West Ham are all but safe from relegation as they sit six points ahead of 18th-placed Leeds with two games remaining for each club.
They missed the chance to secure their Premier League status for another season with a 2-0 loss to Brentford on Sunday, as Moyes opted for nine changes to the side that beat AZ Alkmaar 2-1 on Thursday.
The Hammers travel to the Netherlands on Thursday for the return leg of their UEFA Europa League Conference semi-final second leg, just three days before their domestic clash with Leeds.
After losing to the Bees at the Gtech Community Stadium, Moyes admitted his players were feeling the strain of going deep into European competition for the second season running.
He said: “We weren’t at our best. The first goal took the wind out of us, we didn’t start badly. The goal took the edge off us. We’ve only got ourselves to blame.
“We prepared as best as we can but sometimes when you make so many changes you get inconsistencies and you struggle for rhythm but still you wouldn’t expect to give those goals away.
“The players are goosed at the moment. I wanted to give some other players an opportunity to show and the players a chance to rest. It was always going to be needed at some stage along the line.”
If West Ham qualify for the Conference League final, it could tempt Moyes into further changes against Leeds. West Ham are five points ahead of Everton in 17th and seven ahead of Leicester in 19th.
The Foxes take on Liverpool on Monday night but even if they pull off a victory it would take a mathematical miracle to see West Ham go down at this stage.
After reaching the Europa League semi-finals last season, it has been a disappointing league campaign for the Hammers. However, a draw or victory on Thursday will see them qualify for the Conference League final on June 7.
And after a hectic campaign, it could have an impact on Moyes’ team selection against Leeds as the Whites seek to claim a much-needed victory to avoid the drop.