West Ham manager David Moyes has called on referee Carlos del Cerro Grande to handle Fiorentina’s “tactical fouls” in the Europa Conference League final.
Fiorentina boss Vincenzo Italiano has gone public with his plan to disrupt West Ham in Wednesday’s final in Prague.
“We will try to not give them dangerous balls and to work on tactical fouls, preventative tackles, to avoid counter-attacks. These are the counter-measures to play against this kind of attitude,” Italiano said.
Moyes wants Del Cerro Grande to ensure Fiorentina are not able to turn the match into a stop-start affair with constant fouling.
“It will be down to the referees to sort that out and not for us to have a huge opinion on it,” he said on Friday.
“We’ll try to play a fair game and from my point of view that’s always the best way to try and do it.”
West Ham have completed the Premier League season without receiving a single red card while also incurring the lowest number of yellows in the competition with 43.
“I didn’t know that stat and it’s obviously a good stat. You always want to be well disciplined in finals and in any games. Hopefully that’s the way it remains,” Moyes said.
“You also hope that the referees are looking at that and saying, ‘they’re a well-disciplined side going about their job correctly’. Hopefully they’re doing their homework as well.”
West Ham are aiming to win their first trophy since beating Arsenal in the 1980 FA Cup final.
The Premier League club last played in a major European final in 1976, losing to Anderlecht in the Cup Winners cup showpiece.
Regardless of whether or not they lift the trophy on Wednesday, Moyes will face questions about his future.
During a disappointing Premier League campaign that ended in a 14th-place finish, Moyes endured calls for his sacking from fans.
The Scot has a year left on his contract and has been linked with a move to Celtic.
“The only focus I’ve got at the moment is to win the game and perform as well as we can. I’m certainly not thinking any further ahead than that,” he said.
“In a way there are a lot of really good things going on. We’ve given lots of the West Ham supporters and the West Ham club some really good times. And long may it continue.”
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