David Moyes has raised West Ham hopes of finishing in the top six this season after questioning whether teams in Europe can cope with the extra demands.
The Irons are currently sixth in the Premier League and fans are already starting to dream of European away days (travel restrictions permitting, of course).
The five teams sitting above them are all still involved in European competition and as such have at least two more games to play than West Ham who have just the 15 league games remaining.
Leicester City and Manchester United could end up playing 12 more games than the Irons if all goes according to plan in their Europa League and FA Cup campaigns.
As reported by the Evening Standard Moyes has tipped his charges to take advantage of this, saying: “Who knows what it will be like for the teams in Europe because they’ve got to go Saturday to Tuesday again.
“Maybe their squads are bigger but I would see that as being a big challenge for those teams who are trying to remain in the Cups and Champions League. I’m hoping that might give us a little bit of an edge having time to recover between games.
“I want West Ham involved with the big boys in Europe. We are in with a shout.”
Time to prove bix-six credentials
That is an understatement to say the least.
The Irons will perhaps never have a better chance at pushing for Europe and their next few results could shape their season.
With Brighton, West Brom and Southampton as their final three opponents of the season we will have a seriously strong chance of achieving our aims if we are in and around the top six heading into these.
Three teams that currently sit in the bottom half is an attractive proposition and with the way things are going it looks like the south-coast sides will be playing for mid-table mediocrity while West Brom look doomed for the drop.
That is why Moyes and co must look to put themselves in a strong position going into the final furlong.
A home fixture with Sheffield United should pose no threat but subsequent fixtures against Spurs and Manchester City will prove pivotal and show how far this team has come along.
West Ham have picked up just two points against the so-called ‘big six’ sides in the Premier League as they prove themselves to be flat-track bullies of sorts.
Shedding this tag will give the Irons a massive chance of achieving their European aspirations.