James Ward-Prowse says the West Ham players can be proud of their performance against Bayer Leverkusen, as well as stating his desire to secure another season of European football.

Despite every single player giving everything they have, overcoming a two goal deficit against the most in-form side in Europe was too much to ask of West Ham. Their first-half display was one of the best, if not the best, performances that the Hammers have put in in recent years. The pressure, the attacks, the defence, everything was absolutely relentless.

One player in particular that impressed fans was James Ward-Prowse. The midfielder did not stop working for the ball and caused countless issues for the Leverkusen players. Understandably, he was disappointed that their hard work didn’t result in them progressing, but he was proud to have played his part in such a brilliant game.

“It’s obviously sad that our run in the competition has come to an end, but I think we can be pleased with our performance because we gave it a really good go,” Ward-Prowse stated. “I’ve loved it in Europe. It was a huge factor in why I joined the Club, and tonight definitely lived up to all of my expectations. Tonight was about walking out, taking everything in and realising how big this Club is.”

“The target now has to be to make sure we get the opportunity to do this again next year. We’ve only got a few games of the season left, so we have to give everything. We’ve all worked so hard this year, so we need to make sure we finish in a positive way.”

All things considered, West Ham were extremely unlucky not to win the game, even if they didn’t win the tie. They dominated the first half but, frustratingly, they just weren’t able to take enough of their chances. However, the former Southampton captain was keen to point out just how important the fans were in helping push the players to their limit.

“It was a great start. We knew an early goal would allow us to gain a foothold in the game, and I think tonight was a proper West Ham performance.”

“We were aggressive, on the front foot, and we took the game to the opposition. We left nothing out there, so we have to take a lot of positives from this experience. Unfortunately, we just weren’t able to capitalise on our momentum.”

“The crowd were amazing. It’s up to us as players to give them something to shout about, and I think it all worked hand in hand. We all thrived off the atmosphere, and they really did make a big difference.”