‘Holidays can wait if we make the Europa League’ West Ham midfielder eyes Europe
PUBLISHED: 07:30 24 May 2015 | UPDATED: 19:52 24 May 2015
PA Wire/Press Association Images
Cheikhou Kouyate would be happy to cut short his summer break if it means West Ham are competing in Europe again in July.
The Senegal international, man of the match in the defeat to Everton last weekend, is likely to start once more as the Hammers look to sneak into the Europa League via the back door at Newcastle on Sunday.
England have been guaranteed a place in the competition via the Fair Play League with Everton narrowly behind West Ham heading into the final round of games.
With the first qualification round due to start in early July it will mean a streamlined rest for the Hammers squad but the 25-year-old is not worried.
“I experienced European football with Anderlecht and I know what it is like to play in a top European competition, it gives you goose bumps and it is fantastic,” he said. “Holidays an wait.
“If it was a choice between extra holiday and playing in Europe, I would always pick the football option. It is what our dreams are made of.
“In football you have to make sacrifices and I am ready to sacrifice everything to achieve such things.”
Sunday’s trip to his old club could also be the final time Sam Allardyce takes charge of West Ham with his future set to be decided on Monday.
And Kouyate says whatever happens he has a lot to thank the 60-year-old for.
“The reason I am here is thanks to the manager,” he added. “We don’t know what will happen in the future and we will just focus on the upcoming game and give our all to get the win for him.
“I would like him to stay, he gave me the chance to fulfil my dream and come here which is what I really wanted.
“If it hadn’t been for him I would be probably be playing in Spain at Valencia and Sam did everything for me to come here even taking time out of his holidays. I am very thankful to him for that.
“It has been a dream come true for me and my family, on the day I told my father I was coming to West Ham he cried. It was a very defining moment for my life and my career.”