David Moyes opens up on ‘shock’ departure from West Ham… but now he’s thriving ahead of landmark 1,000th match that could see Hammers reach knockout stage of Europa League

David Moyes admits he has learned from a ‘tough’ first period at West Ham, as he prepares his side for a game that could see them through to the Europa League knockout stage on Thursday.

The Scot was re-appointed as Hammers boss in December 2019, after a relatively unsuccessful six-month spell at the club during the 2017/18 campaign.

Moyes has proved a lot of people wrong during his second spell at the club

He signed a contract until the end of the season after Manuel Pellegrini was sacked in November 2017, with the club in 17th and in danger of relegation.

Despite winning just nine of his 31 games in charge, Moyes managed to steer the club clear of the drop, but that wasn’t enough for him to earn a new deal in east London.

He revealed he had even met with potential new signings ahead of the 2018/19 season, before he was shockingly told he would no longer be continuing as manager.

Moyes told the Sun ahead of his 1,000th match in management: “That period was really tough. We thought we had done a really good job, actually, we had made plans.

West Ham have been fantastic this season

“I had met a couple of players who I thought were coming in for the next period because I thought we were going on, and then out of the blue, it wasn’t there.

“It was a shock. Was it a disappointing time? Yeah, it was.”

A year and a half after he was let go by West Ham, the former Everton and Manchester United boss was again hired to keep the club in the Premier League.

Since then, he has done that and so much more, guiding them to sixth in the Premier League last term and into the Europa League.

Moyes was unfancied after his first spell at the club

A win against Genk on Thursday would mean the Hammers qualify for the competition’s knockout stage and, along with his side’s sitting fourth in the Premier League, things are going pretty well for the 58-year-old.

Moyes says he is grateful that the West Ham owners brought him back to the club – but it seems like it’s a deal that’s worked out for all parties.

“West Ham is a good club for me, and I am really grateful to the owners for bringing me back,” he added.

“Sometimes when you are put in a position it’s very hard to fight back and the owners have given me a chance to fight back and I am going to keep throwing some punches.”