David Moyes defends team selection as West Ham fall to Olympiacos defeat

Moyes insisted rotation was not to blame for West Ham's defeat on Thursday (REUTERS)
Moyes insisted rotation was not to blame for West Ham's defeat on Thursday (REUTERS)

David Moyes defended his team selection after a much-changed West Ham saw their record unbeaten run in Europe ended by Olympiacos on Thursday night.

The Hammers had gone 17 matches without defeat in Uefa competition, a record for an English club that was equalled on Tuesday night by Manchester City, but went down 2-1 in Greece, their first European loss since May 2022.

Moyes made seven outfield changes from the side beaten 4-1 at Aston Villa last weekend, with only James Ward-Prowse, Tomas Soucek and Emerson surviving the cull.

In the aftermath of the Villa defeat, Moyes had called on his fringe players to force his hand with a strong show in midweek, but only when the Scot made a raft of second-half changes did his side threaten a comeback, Lucas Paqueta’s volley off the bench halving the deficit late on.

“I’m disappointed with the team in first-half, not just the players I’ve brought in,” Moyes insisted. “Our record in the Europa League and the Conference League has been very good and we’ve changed players quite regularly for two years now. It’s not something new or something we haven’t done.

“If there was criticism for it tonight then there should be praise for the 17 games we did it prior to it. We’ve had a good record. We’re trying to keep everybody involved. I want to have a good squad, a strong squad, with everybody ready to play so I want to give everybody an opportunity when I can and we’ve done that tonight.”