Ahead of West Ham’s trip to Sevilla David Moyes has admitted the Spanish outfit were the toughest team left in the Europa League draw.
Sevilla are currently second in La Liga eight points behind Real Madrid but seven clear of Barcelona who were also potential European opponents for the Hammers.
Julen Lopetegui’s team are the masters of Europe’s second-tier tournament having won the competition four of the last six times they have competed in the Europa League.
Despite the tall order Moyes is excited for the challenge ahead.
“We’ve probably got the toughest game in the round,” Moyes told the Evening Standard. “But in a way that’s what we wanted. We wanted to challenge Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea and we want to challenge Sevilla, Barcelona, whoever it is.”
The Hammers progressed with ease from the group stages and have proved this campaign they are the match for the toughest of opponents. Earlier in the season Moyes led his side past both Manchester City and Manchester United in the Carabao Cup and has taken the scalps of Liverpool, Chelsea and Spurs at home.
The last-16 tie is West Ham’s first knockout European match since the 1981 Cup Winners’ Cup campaign and Moyes is keen for his side to be back in continental football next season as well.
“I see the next step as consolidation of where we are,” Moyes added. “If people say you should be finishing fourth or fifth, that could be ahead of where we are. We’re still building, we’ve got there quickly but we have to try to stay in that position. Our objective is to get to European football again.”
Last week Moyes was named Manager of the Season at the London Football awards for the second consecutive time and the Scot is aiming to add silverware for the club to his own personal honours.
“We’re looking to win trophies as a club, rather than individual [ones],” he said. “This [award] is to do with how well the players have done.”