David Moyes said West Ham United will continue shooting for the stars but concedes his side’s chances of reaching next season’s Champions League are slim after a 1-0 home loss to Everton in the Premier League on Sunday.
Fifth-placed West Ham could have exerted real pressure on fourth-placed Leicester City with a win, but instead remain five points behind with three games left.
“I don’t think we deserved to lose today and we have to pick up and go again,” Moyes, whose side were undone by Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s first-half goal, told reporters. “At the moment our chances of the Champions League are slim.
“We have been shooting for the stars and will continue to try for that but if we don’t make (the Champions League) then hopefully whatever we get we will look at as a good result.”
There is still hope for West Ham in that Leicester’s last three games are tough, including Tuesday’s trip to Old Trafford to play Manchester United. West Ham’s remaining games are against sides in the bottom half.
However, United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said he will play a much-changed team on Tuesday because of a fixture schedule that means his side must play three league games in five days, culminating in a Thursday clash with Liverpool.
Former United boss Moyes said he was not unduly worried by the situation that could play into Leicester’s hands.
“Ole can do what he likes, it is his team and his club,” Moyes said. “Man United can always put out a strong team.”
Everton’s win, their 11th on the road in the league this season, means they are still in the frame for a European place. They are three points behind West Ham in eighth place but have four games left to play.
Manager Carlo Ancelotti said his players knew that defeat by West Ham would knock them out of contention.
“We knew it was vital, if we lose this game we were out,” the Italian said. “We are still in the fight.”
Everton produced a gutsy display and restricted West Ham to only a few clear chances. They only managed 31% possession but Ancelotti said he was not interested in statistics like that.
“We are not a possession team because we have different qualities,” he said. “The correlation between possession and victory is not for football, that’s for other sports.”