David Moyes accepted Thursday’s European success against Gent had done little to ease the pressure on him with West Ham still involved in the tight Premier League relegation battle.
The Hammers put their domestic troubles to one side in the Europa Conference League as they came from behind to thrash Gent 4-1 and advance to a semi-final against AZ Alkmaar with a 5-2 aggregate win.
A superb goal from Declan Rice highlighted an enjoyable night for the club at the London Stadium but Moyes, whose position has been in question at times this season, recognises the buzz will not last long if they find themselves closer to trouble after Sunday’s trip to Bournemouth.
“Every game, as a manager, you go in feeling a level of pressure,” Moyes said. “Whether you’re up the top looking for points to win a title or down the bottom needing points to stay up.”
West Ham have cause for optimism with the trend ticking upwards in recent weeks. They have taken eight points from the last five games in the league, a run that includes wins over Fulham and Southampton, but the gap to the bottom three remains tight.
“Since the World Cup, our level has been much better. We’re scoring more goals and we need to keep that up,” Moyes added.
“With Thursday’s game in mind, I might make changes on Sunday as we’ve got fresh players available. We’ll have to see what we’ve got.”
If the outlook has improved for West Ham, it has been transformed for Bournemouth after back-to-back away wins over Leicester and Tottenham made it four wins from six, and Moyes said he believed the Cherries are on course to stay up.
“(Gary O’Neil’s) done a brilliant job for Bournemouth,” he said. “I see a really good team and they’re just about safe and I think he’s done a great job.
“They have got games in their run-in where I can see them picking up points, which is important. They’ve won four out of six and you have to give them a lot of credit for how they’re doing.
“This time of the season, if you’re trying to win titles or stay out of the bottom, you have to find a way of winning games and picking up momentum.
“They’ve beaten Liverpool and Tottenham and ran Arsenal really close, so Bournemouth are showing good signs.”