West Ham manager David Moyes has stated that the hard work has gone in for the game against Olympiakos tonight.
Our Hammers head into the 3rd match of the Europa League Group A stage having taken maximum points thus far, although the boss will be aware that the trip to Greece is set to prove a stern test for his West Ham side.
The hosts are currently embroiled in a domestic issue surrounding crowd troubles, which is likely to go to court in Greece to resolve – giving an indication of the kind of atmosphere West Ham can expect when we take the field at a hostile Georgios Karaiskakis Football Stadium.
Moyes’ side though have gathered much experience over the last couple of seasons on the European stage, and have typically handled highly charged home crowds when away from home, although nothing can be taken for granted, with the manager admitting his homework has been done.
“We have spoken with Dinos Mavropanos about Olympiacos and we know Daniel Podence very well from his time at Wolves,” Moyes told the press, as reported by the clubs Official Website. “He did very well for Wolves in his time there, I thought.
“We’ve done as much work as we can. We understand what we can. We have two games now, the first here in Athens and the second in two weeks at London Stadium, so we’ll get to know each other quite well over these two games!
“Everybody knows coming to Athens to play any of the teams here can be tough games and Olympiacos is a really tough game. They’re a serial team in European football for many years, sometimes the Champions League and sometimes the Europa League, and the football club itself has had lots of experience of European football.
“You just have to embrace it here and enjoy it and if you’re a football man you want big atmospheres.”
The boss though has warned the travelling Hammers fans to be careful and mindful of good behaviour, especially considering a recent ban which was enforced after trouble from the stands in last seasons Europa Conference League final win.
“All we want is a good football game,” added Moyes. “It’s great that we have passionate supporters, but to be a passionate supporter you also have to be a good supporter as well, and that includes our supporters as well.
“You’re not helping your club, so you have to be passionate and enthusiastic and support your team well, but you’re not doing your club any favours if you’re getting stadium bans or if your team is getting thrown out of Europe, so you want your fans to be well-behaved.”