David Moyes tells West Ham players to grasp Europa League opportunity

David Moyes has told his West Ham players to embrace the challenge of facing Eintracht Frankfurt in the semi-finals of the Europa League on Thursday.

The Hammers take on Bundlesiga opposition in the first leg at the London Stadium incentivised by the target of reaching their first European final in 46 years.

The two teams famously last met over two legs in the last four of the 1976 Cup Winners' Cup competition, with the London club going through before losing 4-2 to Anderlecht in the final in Brussels.

Now, after hitting three goals in 11 minutes either side of half-time to seal a 3-0 second-leg victory and 4-1 aggregate success over Lyon in the quarter-finals, manager Moyes feels West Ham are back where they belong on the big stage.

He told reporters: "It's great for West Ham - seeing the football, the teams. It's been a monumental period for us to get the semi-final of a European competition.

"I'm hoping we can keep it going. It'll be a great opportunity for us - like it will be for Eintracht Frankfurt. It won't be easy."

The Hammers have only lost four games at home all season in the Premier League and Moyes believes his payers are a match for any opposition at the London Stadium.

He said: "In the main, our home form has been pretty good. Beating Tottenham, Liverpool and Chelsea shows that on our home patch on our day, we can be a good match for any team."

Frankfurt are currently ninth in Germany's Bundlesiga but held on to claim a shock 3-2 second-leg win at Camp Nou and 4-3 aggregate victory over Spanish giants Barcelona.

"To beat Barcelona over two games was an incredible achievement and it shows their qualities. They're a big name in German football with incredible support. But we've got a really big stadium and a fantastic crowd. It's really special that two teams with a history are back together," Moyes said, when asked about Frankfurt.

The Scot revealed defenders Kurt Zouma and Issa Diop are edging closer to first-team returns but that they will not be rushed back.

Kurt Zouma edging closer to West Ham return

He added: "I won't rush anybody back. We could do with some central defenders getting fit, but unfortunately that's the way it's been and we have to live with it. We're needing all hands on deck."

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