David Moyes admits there would be a special thrill if he could become the latest Scottish manager to win a European trophy when West Ham face Fiorentina next week.
The English Premier League side have reached the Europa Conference League final and could finish their season on a high if they can prevail at Prague’s Fortuna Arena on Wednesday.
Moyes has guided the Hammers through the group stage and past Larnaca, Gent and AZ Alkmaar to get to touching distance of the trophy.
Team success would see West Ham win major silverware for the first time since 1981 but Moyes himself would join a rare group of Scottish managers who have achieved success in continental competition.
Matt Busby, Jock Stein, William Waddell, Bill Shankly, George Graham and Sir Alex Ferguson are the only Scottish bosses to have lifted European trophies and Moyes admits he would be thrilled to join such elite company.
“It would be hugely important for myself personally, because, you know, my home’s in Scotland, that’s where I was brought up,” he said. “And I think the names you mentioned were names which were round Europe in a different era when Scotland had a host of top managers and managers competing in the best leagues and competing for European competitions.
“I’ve been told about it, obviously, I think that Sir Alex was the last one to win as a Scottish manager. But not only that, but as a British manager as well.
“So it would be a big thrill for me if I could get my name alongside theirs.
“But obviously many of them are greats in football and not just at their own club, but throughout the world, their names are known wherever people go.”
Moyes’ future with West Ham is in doubt after fans’ dissatisfaction with the team’s league form over the last season but the manager wouldn’t be drawn on his plans or thoughts on what will happen after Wednesday night. He believes that, over the piece, his three years in charge have had plenty of highlights.
“The only focus I’ve got at the moment is to win the game and perform as well as we can. I’m certainly not thinking any further ahead than that,” he said.
“I’m not sure that if you’d told anybody that we’d finish sixth and seventh in the Premier League, we’d get to the semi-final of a European competition and then the year after we’d get to the final of a European competition…if you said that to people before I came in I think they’d have said ‘no, that’s not true’.
“In a way there are a lot of really good things going on. We’ve given lots of the West Ham supporters and the West Ham club some really good times. And long may it continue.
“We’ve got to try and keep it going, we want to grow it and keep these moments happening.
“To be in a cup final is special, certainly for West Ham because it’s been a while since we’ve been there.”