West Ham travel to Spain this week to face Sevilla in the Europa League, and they’ll have a very difficult task against the La Liga side.

Sevilla consider the Europa League as somewhat their competition, given their successes when winning the trophy, and club president José Castro Carmona has sent a very clear message to his squad about why it’s so important to succeed against David Moyes’ side.

The club had to delay their Christmas dinner, which was instead held on Sunday evening, due to Covid-19. It’s traditional for the president to speak to the players and management team, and they were left in no doubt over the importance of the Europa League, and especially the importance of it this season.

Sevilla are third in La Liga but Castro doesn’t want that to be a distraction ahead of the West Ham game.

Diario de Sevilla quote him as saying: “I only ask for one last effort. We only have eleven games left and we are excited about the UEFA Europa League, which you already know has blessed this house with glory, it is something that many of us want and that we all want together, us and our fans. And this year it is also played in our house, all the more reason to be excited about it. I repeat, we are very proud of what you are doing, but now comes the decisive phase, now is when we must push even harder.”

As Castro said, this year’s Europa League final is played at Sevilla’s home stadium, which would make winning the competition even more special for the club.

West Ham appear to be up against Julen Lopetegui’s side and the hands of football fate on Thursday.