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    West Ham are not a ‘divided’ club – Moyes

    Moyes is in his second spell as West Ham boss and has led them to two top-seven finishes prior to this season

    David Moyes says he “does not see a divided club” at West Ham as they prepare to face what could be a pivotal league game with Everton on Saturday.

    Both clubs are struggling and currently reside in the Premier League’s bottom three, with 15 points from 19 games.

    Everton fans protested against the club’s owners at Goodison Park last weekend, but Moyes does not see similar discord at his own club.

    “This club is much more together I think than it’s ever been,” he said.

    “I remember when I came here, I was only here three or four games, we had supporters running on the pitch.

    “It was a terrible time for us and I think one of the biggest things that needs to happen as a football club is it for it to come together.

    “That needs the supporters, that needs the players, the directors, all to be together. It’s the one thing that happens here at West Ham, I don’t see a divided club here and I’ve got to say from my time at Everton, I never saw a divided club at Everton.”

    It was in November 2019, during a 3-0 home loss to Burnley, that fans invaded the pitch at the London Stadium, with then captain Mark Noble tackling one.

    Hundreds of supporters later remonstrated in front of the directors box to protest against the running of the club by co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan.

    Gold died on 4 January and the club will pay tribute to him before the game with Everton – the first at home since his passing – with a minute’s applause.

    Last weekend Everton fans staged a large-scale demonstration and sit-in organised by 67 fan and social media groups, plus more than 20 official supporters’ clubs.

    The club’s board of directors missed the 2-1 loss to Southampton because of threats to their safety, with players confronted by angry fans after the game.

    This Saturday’s game is crucial for both clubs as they look to move up the table and away from relegation danger.

    Both teams are looking for a first win in eight league games.

    “It’s a huge game for us both, yes, but one you look forward to. I’ve got to,” added Moyes, who managed Everton from 2002 to 2013.

    “I’ve had a lot of big games and tomorrow is a big game in a different way. I’m looking forward to it, hopefully we can come out on top.”

    Analysis

    BBC Sport football reporter Simon Stone

    There is a theory that a West Ham defeat at London Stadium could trigger two managerial exits, with David Moyes being sacked and then replacing Frank Lampard at the club where the Scot made his name.

    It is plausible – Moyes came close to going back to Everton when he decided instead to accept West Ham’s offer in 2019.

    However, for now, both clubs will be fully focused on trying to end their long wait for a victory in a crucial game that throws up so many subplots.

    West Ham fans have grievances against their owners, but the match will be preceded by a minute’s applause for one of them, David Gold, who passed away earlier this month.

    The club will pay tribute to Gold in the match programme, but their on-pitch representation will be led by former skipper Mark Noble rather than joint-chairman David Sullivan or chief executive Karren Brady, who have been targeted by supporters in the past.

    Everton fans are furious with their ownership but sympathetic to manager Lampard, a former West Ham player who is guaranteed a hostile reception every time he goes back there.

    Into that mix, a match will be played which could lead to the winner reviving their season while their fans still seethe. For the loser, the aftermath may not be pleasant.

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