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David Moyes hoping West Ham can hang around the top six ‘like a bad smell’

The Hammers are three points behind fourth-placed Arsenal.

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David Moyes wants to make European football a regular occurrence at West Ham (Zac Goodwin/PA)

David Moyes wants to make European football a regular occurrence at West Ham (Zac Goodwin/PA)

David Moyes wants to make European football a regular occurrence at West Ham (Zac Goodwin/PA)

David Moyes hopes West Ham can hang around in the Premier League’s top six “like a bad smell” and secure European qualification again for next season.

The Hammers are sixth heading into Sunday’s top-flight match against Aston Villa at the London Stadium, three points behind Arsenal who occupy the fourth and final Champions League spot.

West Ham trail by just a single goal following the first leg of their last-16 Europa League tie away to Sevilla on Thursday night, with the return to come next week.

Moyes’ ambition is to make European football a regular feature for West Ham, and said: “I think in truth there has always been a top six in the Premier League and we broke into that standard last year.

“So if we can continue to try to be in there, like a bad smell, hang around, see if we can be there long enough, who knows? Maybe we can do it again.

“We are certainly enjoying our European football at the moment. If it was the Champions League (we qualified for) we’d be thrilled with that, but European football for us at West Ham has been really great this year.”

West Ham will be without Jarrod Bowen against Villa due to a heel injury suffered against Liverpool last weekend, but Moyes may be able to welcome back Andriy Yarmolenko.

The Ukrainian has not featured in a league game since January 16, and was granted compassionate leave towards the end of last month after the Russian invasion of his homeland.

Moyes revealed the 32-year-old had been close to being in the squad against Sevilla on Thursday but a last-minute illness ruled him out.

The Scot comes up against Steven Gerrard on Sunday, and says he has been impressed by the former Liverpool captain’s transition from playing to managing.

Moyes said: “He took the under-18s at Liverpool then took on a huge task at Rangers, especially to try and stop Celtic winning 10 (league titles) in a row. He took that on, which in itself was a monumental achievement for Rangers supporters, and also a really stressful job.

“He has now gone and taken on a really big job in the Premier League with Aston Villa. I like the way he has tried to develop himself and he has not jumped in right away thinking ‘this is easy’.

“I think he has tried to train himself up and get some experience and learn on the job. He’s doing a very good job.”

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