West Ham manager David Moyes called Jose Mourinho “one of the hardest competitors of all” ahead of their match with Tottenham at London Stadium on Sunday.
When the rival clubs face each other this weekend, West Ham will be in the unfamiliar position of holding a higher place in the league table this late in the season.
The Hammers are fifth, on 42 points, while Spurs are in ninth with 36 points (with one game in hand).
Mourinho boasts an illustrious CV with 25 trophy wins, but it has been three years since he delivered silverware and his Tottenham team have lost four of their last five league outings.
🗣️ “It comes from the manager. It is what he expects from us”
Jarrod Bowen is loving life at West Ham and hopes the Hammers can ‘achieve something special’
📺 Watch West Ham v Spurs live on Super Sunday pic.twitter.com/WkWj6nQJMV
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) February 19, 2021
Even though Moyes’s side is on course for European football and their opponents might be in somewhat of a slump, he won’t overlook a manager who has given him a tough time whenever they’ve faced each other.
“I have to say throughout my managerial career, especially when I came into the Premier League and Jose came, he has been probably one of the hardest competitors of all,” Moyes said.
“He has always been very good, hard to play against and his teams are great.
“Whenever he decides to finish up, he will go down as one of most winning managers of all time.”
Sunday will be the 16th time the duo have faced off on the touchline and the West Ham boss is still searching for his maiden victory against the three-time Premier League winner.
Moyes has lost nine times to Mourinho but would have expected that to be in double figures after Spurs were three goals ahead in the most recent encounter in October before the Hammers produced a remarkable fightback to draw 3-3.
“To come from 3-0 down, I am sure there are plenty who have done that in their career, but to come from 3-0 down, with 10 minutes to go against Tottenham Hotspur takes some doing,” the 57-year-old added.
“I certainly can’t remember it in my career or as a football manager (happening). It was a great achievement the players got.
“Sometimes you need a result like that to get you going and get momentum going and belief. I am sure we took a lot of belief from coming back.”
The east London club had lost two of their opening four league games before the trip to Tottenham but have suffered only four more defeats since to sit fifth and notably above champions Liverpool.
While it has been an excellent campaign to date for West Ham, one thing missing is a victory over the traditional top clubs.
Moyes admitted: “It would be really significant if we can because it would keep us pushing on in the position we are in.
“Let’s not kid ourselves on, we are only new to this. We are the new kids on the block. We are trying to challenge and hang in.
“If we can stay on the coat-tails of the clubs above us, who knows where it might go. What I would say is the players have done a brilliant job and we are challenging every game.
“We might not win every game but we are certainly having a go and trying to make our mark.”
www.skysports.com 2021-02-19 17:50:00