West Ham boss David Moyes says he is comfortable living with high expectations at the club.
Moyes has turned the Hammers from relegation battlers to top-four challengers in less than two years and Premier League wins over Liverpool and Chelsea this term have shown that last season’s impressive campaign was not a flash in the pan.
They travel to Burnley on Sunday looking to consolidate fourth position and Moyes is enjoying the pressure.
“I think raising expectations is part of the manager’s job because it probably means you are doing well with the team,” he said.
“When you raise then you start saying, ‘Hang on a minute, this is expecting a lot of a team that is relatively new’.
“I think our rapid climb to the higher reaches of the Premier League is something that has been unbelievable, it has been a great achievement and not only that but to keep it going.
“We have only been doing this for a year and a half, we were in the relegation zone a year and a half ago.
“So we are at the early stages of being a side who has got big expectations but I am quite happy that we have got big expectations and I hope we are able to keep it up. Maybe we can, maybe we can’t.”
After last season’s sixth-placed finish, which brought Europa League football, questions were asked whether Moyes’ men could repeat the success, but the Scot thinks they have kicked on.
“I said at the start of the season, ‘Is there any chance we could get two more points than last year?’, because that would have caught Chelsea in a Champions League position,” he said.
“It doesn’t mean we are going to get there. That’s the challenge for us, to get another strong season. I was always worried that after last season you can sometimes have a bit of a dip, but I think we’ve done the opposite and got better.
“We have improved and gone again. We have got to keep those standards up. In recent weeks we have been playing a lot better than we have played.
“Overall, the players are still producing at a high level. I want that to continue right through the season.”
Moyes will be able to call on his big guns after making 11 changes for Thursday night’s Europa League loss to Dinamo Zagreb.
Kurt Zouma, Angelo Ogbonna Aaron Cresswell, Ben Johnson and Ryan Fredricks are all injured.