David Moyes cannot wait to take on his former club Manchester United in the FA Cup fifth round after goals from Jarrod Bowen and Michail Antonio sealed West Ham's 2-0 victory at third tier Derby on Monday.
Bowen put West Ham ahead early in the first half and Antonio doubled the lead soon after the interval in the fourth-round tie. Moyes' side will head to Old Trafford in late February as they continue their bid to reach the FA Cup final for the first time since 2006.
It will be Moyes' latest return to United, who sacked the Scot in 2014 only 10 months after he succeeded Alex Ferguson.
"I'm really looking forward to the game. It's a really good game for us." Moyes said. "Maybe at the moment that's the game we need because we've got players who want to play on the big stage.
"There's nothing bigger than Old Trafford, so I'm saying to the players, 'Come on, let's go and take it on and challenge them'." Avoiding an embarrassing defeat against Derby was essential for the under-fire Moyes, but it is Premier League survival that remains his top priority. The Hammers are languishing in 16th place in the Premier League, just one point above the relegation zone. "This was a difficult game because Derby had gone 16 unbeaten. In the end, we did a pretty professional job on them," Moyes said.
Moyes made six changes following West Ham's vital 2-0 victory over Premier League relegation rivals Everton in their most recent match nine days ago.
Despite the selection gamble, West Ham proved too strong for a Derby side on the up after a turbulent period. Just 12 months ago, Derby were in turmoil, with the club close to going out of business after they plunged into administration and suffered relegation to the third tier for the first time since 1986.
Finally rescued in July 2022 when lifelong Derby fan David Clowes bought the club from Mel Morris, the Rams have been revitalised this term.
Paul Warne's side sit fourth in League One and the FA Cup exit shouldn't detract from their promotion challenge.