Kurt Zouma has confirmed that West Ham’s goal for the remainder of the season is to once again qualify for European competition.
The Hammers secured a spot in this season’s Europa League after a fine end to the 2020-21 campaign and a top-six Premier League finish and that is the club’s ambition once more.
David Moyes has set his team the target of reaching the 68 points it would have taken to qualify for the Champions League last time out with West Ham ending the campaign on a club Premier League record 66. Moyes in unsure if 68 points will be enough for a top-four finish this season but is pushing his team to better their tally.
“I’ve given the players the challenge that I want to see if they can make the two points up that we didn’t get for the Champions League last year, [when] we were two points short. Can we try and make it up,” Moyes said.
Zouma is up for the challenge and wants to see the Hammers become European regulars.
“The goal for the season is to be in Europe. I think West Ham deserve to be there every season and we’re going to fight for it,” Zouma told the club website.
Despite going into the winter break in fifth spot there is a tinge of disappointment at West Ham following the dramatic 93rd-minute loss to Manchester United on Saturday but Zouma is ready to put that behind him and come back in February raring to go.
“Unfortunately we conceded a goal in the last minute, last seconds of the game and we were all disappointed, especially after all the energy that the lads put into the game,” he said.
“It’s done, it’s over, we’re all disappointed but we’re going to move on,” the former Chelsea defender added.
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To head into the break in fifth spot is a fine achievement for a squad that has been stretched to its limits with European football, cup runs, COVID cases and a large number of injuries but Zouma wants more.
“We can always improve,” Zouma said. “We have a great team, a great bunch of guys, a family, and we are having a great season but we can do better.
“We can always do better and the rest will help us recover and prepare ourselves. After the break we have to be ready.”