West Ham ace at odds with David Moyes hours before Leverkusen clash

The second-leg of their Europa League quarter-final is the most important game of West Ham United’s season so far, but it appears that not everyone is singing from David Moyes’ hymn sheet ahead of the match.

The London Stadium needs to be bouncing from the get go to make the atmosphere as intimidating as possible for Xabi Alonso’s unbeaten Bayer Leverkusen side, but it does need everyone of a claret and blue persuasion to be pulling in the same direction.

In the first leg, shorn of Jarrod Bowen up front, the Hammers played defensively throughout the first leg in Leverkusen.

Moyes and Ward-Prowse at odds in West Ham press conferences

During his pre-match press conference, Moyes suggested more of the same might be necessary.

“We have to have that patience and that level of trying to find a way of winning the game, or certainly getting a couple of goals in front at the end of 90 minutes,” he said, detailed by the official West Ham website.

“We’ll try to do it, we’ll do everything we can, but we have to be mindful of how we do it and not be over-exposed.

“We did a job at Leverkusen for long periods, but obviously we couldn’t quite see it through.”

If that was the party line, then the first-team players might be expected to toe it in their pre-match interviews, but James Ward-Prowse wants to go in a completely different direction, possibly bringing him into direct conflict with his manager.

David Moyes might aim to keep it tight for West Ham against Bayer Leverkusen

“We all know Leverkusen are a good team, but personally I think we showed them a bit too much respect in the first leg, and we didn’t quite pack the punch that I think we can,” he was quoted as saying via a separate report on the official West Ham website.

“We need to go into Thursday all guns blazing, and we know the first goal is going to be crucial. We have to make sure it’s us who get that goal, and we need to use the occasion and the atmosphere to our advantage.

“These sorts of nights are what I came to West Ham for, and it’s going to be a really special spectacle. Let’s hope we can create some more amazing memories under the lights.”

Suggestions that Moyes could be set to leave the club at the end of the season might be expected to have been made because of the way in which the Scot generally sets his teams up.

A more negative way of playing clearly doesn’t suit some of the players that are used to moving things along apace and enjoying front-foot attacking football.

If Leverkusen were to score the first goal at the London Stadium, the Hammers will have no choice but to come out and attack, possibly conceding more in the process.

It might be anathema to Moyes who’ll almost certainly still want to adopt a safety first approach, but in such a situation, that won’t win him any admirers and likely won’t win West Ham the match either.