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David Moyes given initial six-month contract at West Ham

‘David is the right man to turn things around and get the best out of the players at the club’

David Moyes has made his return to management with West Ham. Photograph: Dave Howarth/PA

West Ham United will give David Moyes the chance to establish himself at the club after appointing him as their new manager on a six-month contract that could turn into a longer deal if the 54-year-old revives the team’s wretched form.

Moyes has effectively been named as West Ham’s interim manager after Slaven Bilic was dismissed on Monday but he takes over knowing there is a strong possibility of being offered a two-year contract if he saves the club from relegation.

David Sullivan and David Gold, the club’s co-owners, would also want to see clear signs of improvement before making a final decision at the end of the season. Although it is understood Moyes will receive a £2m bonus if he wins the battle for survival, a break clause in his contract will allow West Ham to walk away if they are not sufficiently impressed.

West Ham’s decision to take things slowly with Moyes comes after the board faced down supporter unrest over his appointment. The former Everton manager, who has been out of work since failing to keep Sunderland up last season, is seen as an uninspired choice by many fans.

Moyes, who inherits a team languishing in 18th place after two wins from their first 11 Premier League games, has struggled since leaving Everton for Manchester United in 2013. After being sacked by United and Real Sociedad, he was accused of negativity after finishing bottom of the Premier League with Sunderland.

Moyes, who hopes to add Alan Irvine and Stuart Pearce to his backroom staff, admits he has a point to prove. “Yes, I think I do,” he said on the club’s website. “I’ve managed five clubs since starting out nearly 20 years ago, starting at Preston and then going to Everton. My period at Manchester United is well documented and I then did something I have always wanted to do by experiencing management abroad, with Real Sociedad.

“It’s only been the last job where I feel it wasn’t a good move and I didn’t enjoy the experience. So I’m hungry to make sure I get things right now. I don’t know any manager who hasn’t gone through negative periods, especially in the game today. I hope it gives me great strength and understanding of what is required.

“The focus here is purely between now and the end of the season. The first thing is to win the next game and build from there, and I’m sure we will be in a much stronger position before long.”

“I’m really looking forward to meeting the supporters and being in the stadium with them,” Moyes also said in an interview published on the club’s Twitter feed.

“I’m looking forward to seeing them get right behind the team, and my team also. We need the support, we need everybody with us. It’s a big job we have in hand now but I’m sure with everybody together we can get the right results between now and the end of the season.”

West Ham’s hope is they are getting the version of Moyes who flourished at Everton for 11 years rather than the one who seemed so defeatist at the Stadium of Light. Sullivan’s and Gold’s belief is Moyes, who met his squad at West Ham’s Rush Green training ground on Tuesday, was in an impossible position at Sunderland, who are bottom of the Championship after sacking Simon Grayson last week. They have promised to back him in the January transfer window, when they will need to strengthen a talented but unbalanced squad. West Ham have the worst defensive record in the Premier League, having conceded 23 goals in 11 games.

Bilic, whose contract was due to run out at the end of the season, proved incapable of finding the right balance after more than two years in the job. West Ham were alarmed by reports of a lack of intensity in training and Bilic’s time was up after Saturday’s 4-1 defeat to Liverpool at the London Stadium. – Guardian service

David Moyes in numbers

6 — this will be Moyes’ sixth job in management following spells at Preston, Everton, Manchester United, Real Sociedad and Sunderland.

11 — years in charge at Everton, from 2002 to 2013 — longer than in all his other managerial jobs combined.

18.6 — Moyes’ win percentage as Sunderland boss last season. The Black Cats finished bottom of the Premier League, 16 points adrift of top-flight survival.

3 — the Scot has been named LMA manager of the year on three occasions, in 2003, 2005 and 2009 during an Everton reign which also brought him 10 manager of the month awards.

1 — he has won just one top-level trophy, the 2013 Community Shield with Manchester United.

9 — Moyes becomes West Ham’s ninth permanent manager of the Premier League era, and only the 16th in their history.