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David Moyes prefers top-four nerves over relegation battle

David Moyes prefers top-four nerves over relegation battle
© Reuters
This time last season the Hammers were involved in a fight to beat the drop.

David Moyes admits West Ham's Champions League chase is far better for his nerves than a relegation battle.

The Hammers remain in the hunt for a place in the top four despite back-to-back defeats by Newcastle and Chelsea.

They are three points behind the fourth-placed Blues and have a favourable run-in compared to some of the teams around them.

It is a far cry from this stage of the season last year when West Ham were in the thick of the battle to beat the drop.

"We have not been thinking about the last two games. I am really excited about the five games to go, we're in a great position," said Hammers boss Moyes.

"This time last year with five games to go I was crapping myself because I didn't know if we were going to be a Premier League team.

"I am really enjoying that we have got a good team and we're playing good stuff. We had a couple of bad results recently but prior to that, we had not lost two games in a row.

"So the big thing now is to keep doing what we have been doing most of the season and that has included winning and playing well in a lot of the games and scoring goals, so we will try and do that again."

West Ham could soon be boosted by the return of key players Michail Antonio and Declan Rice. Moyes said striker Antonio could even have a chance at Burnley on Monday following his latest hamstring injury.

"He's working with the physios out on the grass, I wouldn't rule him out but I don't want to rule him in as well, so let's hope that he has a chance," added Moyes.

"We've had Aaron Creswell, Declan Rice, Arthur Masuaku and Micky Antonio out, we had Craig Dawson suspended, so we had a few out and we are trying to get them all back if we can. Not just Micky, we are working to try and get the others back as well."

Moyes will also have Fabian Balbuena available after the defender's ludicrous red card against Chelsea, when he caught Ben Chilwell as he kicked the ball, was rescinded.

It is the second time in recent weeks that West Ham have had a dismissal overturned after Tomas Soucek was red-carded against Fulham.

Moyes said: "I think we have had five out of eight red cards rescinded in recent years at West Ham, which is quite an incredible number!"

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States29352791
Olympics flagRussian Olympic Committee16222058
Great BritainGreat Britain16181852
Today's Olympic highlights header

Friday's key events

· Great Britain's women aim to secure their place on the podium as they face India in the bronze medal match (2.30am)
· Netherlands - silver medallists five years ago - and Argentina battle for the gold medal in the women's final (11am)

· The women's gold medal will be decided as Australia and USA go head to head (3.30am)

· Lauren Price will be looking to add to Team GB's success in the ring when she takes on Nouchka Fontijn of Netherlands in the women's middleweight semi-final (6am)

· Tom Daley already has one Olympic gold to his name in Tokyo, and he begins his bid for second in the men's 10m platform. Teammate Noah Williams is also involved in the preliminary round (7am)

· Jason Kenny's reign as sprint king may be over, but Jack Carlin looked strong in his bid to succeed his compatriot. He takes on Harrie Lavreysen in his sprint semi-final (8.10am), with the final taking place later in the day (10.35am)
· The women's madison makes its Olympic debut at the velodrome as Team GB duo Katie Archibald and Laura Kenny look to add another medal to their collections (9.15am)

· Hosts Japan will look to get themselves on the podium as they face Mexico in the men's bronze medal match (10am)
· The women's champions will be crowned as both Sweden and Canada aim to win Olympic gold for the very first time (1pm)

· The men's 5000m final includes Great Britain's Andrew Butchart, but most eyes will be on Ugandan world record holder Joshua Cheptegei (1pm)
· Team GB's Jodie Williams will hope to get on the podium in the women's 400m final, but defending champ Shaunae Miller-Uibo is favourite for gold while Stephenie Ann McPherson should challenge and Allyson Felix is bidding to become the most decorated female track and field athlete of all time (1.35pm)
· Netherlands' Sifan Hassan takes on leg two of her ambitious attempt at a Tokyo treble in a women's 1500m final which also includes Great Britain's Laura Muir and Faith Kipyegon of Kenya (1.50pm)
· A star-studded women's 4x100m relay final will see a Team GB quartet including Dina Asher-Smith look to upset defending champions USA and favourites Jamaica, who boast Elaine Thompson-Herah as she goes for her third gold of the Games (2.30pm)
· Great Britain and Jamaica will also be going for gold in the men's 4x100m relay final, and their medal hopes have been boosted by USA's failure to qualify (2.50pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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