West Ham United will not take Europa League lightly next season after being gifted a spot in the competition by Manchester United's FA Cup triumph, joint chairman David Gold has said.
West Ham missed out on qualifying for Europe after finishing seventh in the Premier League but United's victory over Crystal Palace at Wembley on Saturday secured a Europa League spot for Slaven Bilic's men for second successive year.
"It was an exciting and thrilling end to the final and what a goal from (Jesse) Lingard to win the game," Gold told the club's website (www.whufc.com).
"There was so much hanging on it for West Ham fans and we were all left celebrating as we are back in Europe ... As we prepare for the big move into the new stadium this is another exciting challenge for the football club."
West Ham lost to Romania's Astra Giurgiu in the third qualifying round in Europe's second tier competition last season but Gold insisted the club were keen to add to their trophy haul as they move into a new era at London's Olympic Stadium.
"We should take this competition seriously and we are good enough to win it," Gold added.
"It will also be another great opportunity for our young players to get European experience and a number of them showed their quality when we played in the early rounds last summer."
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