West Ham boss David Moyes had played down suggestions of a top four push for his side, despite the Hammers current impressive form.
In what’s been a hugely entertaining Premier League campaign thus far, Moyes’ side have arguably been one of the standout stories, the eat London outfit currently in sixth and just a point off Liverpool in fourth and with a game in hand.
While they were scrapping for survival last season, they have already matched their points tally from the whole of last term, despite still having 15 games left to play.
After a frustrating period under former boss Manuel Pellegrini, the Hammers now look a much stronger and more competitive outfit, with the midfield duo of Tomas Soucek and Declan Rice the real heartbeat of the team.
Their recent form and league position has left some discussing the possibility of a potential Champions League place come the end of the season, although the West Ham boss was keen to try keep ‘a lid on expectations’ with a fair chunk of the campaign still to go.
“In a strange way, when you move up the league people expect more – all I keep hearing about is Champions League and European football,” he said at his pre-match press conference.
“It is part of a manager’s job to raise expectations. When you come into a football club your job is to do that.
“At the same time, you need to try to keep a lid on expectations because you don’t want people getting carried away.
“I would love to come out and say, ‘We are right in the mix of this’. We are in a great position but until we get to single-digit games left we can’t really say that.
“We are in that more difficult period of fixtures for the next month or so. But we are really pleased and the players have been brilliant.
“We have the best improvement in total points since this time last season than any other team and it is possibly too big a spike.
“Somewhere along the line we have to get a consistency for our level and I hope it is the level we are at now.
“The players know inside the dressing-room exactly what I want and I what I expect.”
West Ham face Sheffield United on Monday evening.