David Moyes has urged West Ham to “stand up and be counted” as he battles to keep his job.
Saturday’s trip to Fulham has been billed as a ‘must not lose’ match for Moyes, the latest in a string of such games with the Hammers deep in the relegation scrap.
Moyes admitted his job was on the line after West Ham’s 5-1 humiliation at home to Newcastle on Wednesday but he retains the support of co-owner David Sullivan, for now.
“I was just trying to make a point,” said Moyes on Friday morning. “We’re in an industry where we can quite easily lose our jobs. That’s the way it happens and, if you’re not winning, it’s always possible.
“I’m no different from anybody else. We’ve just got to try and get on with the job and win the next game.
“People said Everton was ‘must not lose’ and we won that one. They said Nottingham Forest was ‘must not lose’ and we won that one. Then it was Southampton, he has to win against Southampton.
“When you’ve put that title on us, we’ve stood up and been counted. If you’re giving me that title again, I hope we can stand up and be counted this time.”
Moyes, 59, could be forgiven for deciding he does not need the stress of criticism from fans and the fear of being sacked.
But he said: “Of course I need it, it’s like a drug.
“This is why you see Roy Hodgson coming back when he’s 75 and Neil Warnock coming back, and so many people who are in the game and the journey they are on. They continue to stay on it because they’ve got a great love for the game and they want to stay in it.
“Part of being a football manager is that you don’t win all of the time. Sometimes you have to lose and you have to try and learn to deal with it.
“But when you do lose, you’ve got to learn how to bounce back and we’re looking forward to try and bounce back in our next game.”
The Hammers will take on a Fulham side without their star man Alexsandar Mitrovic.
The Serbia striker, who has scored 11 goals this season, is serving an eight-match ban for shoving referee Chris Kavanagh in last month’s FA Cup defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford.
“He’s done amazing, his goals he scored in the Championship last season were amazing and he hasn’t half gone on and shown what he can do in the Premier League,” said Moyes.
“I’m sure it’ll be a huge blow to Fulham and I’m sure if it was us, it would be a huge blow to us.”