Jarrod Bowen has revealed how West Ham will approach the back end of the campaign with European football well within reach.
The Hammers have been one of the most improved sides in 2020/21 and have already surpassed their points tally from last term.
42 points from 24 games as things stand has them fifth in the league, above defending champions Liverpool.
With their form showing no signs of faltering, they hold serious hopes of playing European football next season.
Bowen has been a star performer for them, featuring in all 24 games so far and starting 22 of them. He’s scored five goals and assisted three in those outings.
And while he admits the West Ham squad are starting to dream of qualifying for Europe, he says they are hesitant to get ahead of themselves.
Speaking to talkSPORT, he said: “We know what the manager wants. We have all bought into his philosophy of wanting European football.
“Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of football still to be played from now until the end of the season. But if we can keep winning games and going under the radar a bit then it is probably kind of good for us.
“People probably don’t expect us to be up and around it. So to keep winning each week and keep sniffing around the top six, top five areas is great for us.
“I think the manager said the other day, when it gets to single digits in games, we will start to be looking more and more towards those European places.
“But right now, it is about winning as many games as we can and keep the performance levels high.”
Derbies ‘difficult’ with no fans
Next up for the Hammers is a clash with London rivals Tottenham on Sunday lunch time.
The two sides played out a memorable 3-3 draw earlier in the season. Having gone 3-0 up in 16 minutes, Spurs conceded three times in twelve minutes, including an equaliser in the 94th minute, as West Ham left the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with an unlikely point.
Another positive result this weekend would only see David Moyes‘ side strengthen their push for Europe. A win would even take them nine points clear of Jose Mourinho’s men.
But Bowen couldn’t help but mention the continued absence of fans ahead of what is usually an intense and atmospheric fixture.
“It’s difficult with no fans,” he said. “I remember speaking to Dec [Rice] when West Ham beat Tottenham away in the stadium, 1-0.
“They said the atmosphere was electric away. So to miss it at home, I’ve obviously never experienced a London derby, but I can imagine the place would be bouncing and rocking on Sunday.
“I think especially the football that we are playing at the moment, we miss them more than anyone and we would love them to be with us week-in, week-out on the pitch.
“But we know that the fanbase that’s here, on the sofas of their houses, are going to be screaming up and down for the successes that we have had this season.
“Hopefully again on Sunday as well, which we know is a big one for the fans.”