Sam Allardyce insists a top-ten Barclays Premier League finish is still well within West Ham United's reach, as his side prepare to take on West Bromwich Albion at the Boleyn Ground on Saturday.
While achieving top-flight safety remains the number one priority, Big Sam is hopeful his side can far exceed the 38 points he expects to guarantee a second season in the Premier League.
Meanwhile, the Hammers boss is further boosted by the return of Joe Cole to full training and with players returning unscathed from international duty, Big Sam has an almost full-strength squad at his disposal.
Sam, what's the team news ahead of Saturday?
SA: "We've no injury problems from the international players, who've been away on international duty over the last couple of weeks. They're all back and recovered apart from young Raphael Spiegel, who fractured a finger I think in four or five places, so we've called Stephen Henderson back from Ipswich for the goalkeeping position. Joe Cole's back in full training, so he joins the squad. Mark Noble has not recovered yet from surgery on a trapped nerve. The squad's looking quite strong."
With Mark, how soon do you expect him back?
SA: "We don't really know, because it's an injury we haven't incurred before and we know very little about. So we can only take it day-by-day on how Mark feels and what the specialists or the surgeons say next time they visit. He's making good progress at the moment but quite how long it will be, we don't know."
You've mentioned the 38-point mark before, do you still think that will be enough?
SA: "I think this season that will be enough, but obviously we want that and more. We've always set out this season to try and finish as high as we possibly can. Our goal at the very start of the season, the maximum we felt we could do in year one, with the squad we have, was tenth and that's still a possibility. Our position at 14th at the moment is the lowest we've been all season, so that's how well we've done, even though I've not been satisfied with results recently, it still puts us in a very good position.
"Because we had such a good start to the season, you can see what it means to a team when they have a difficult period - as everyone does at some stage of the season - it doesn't drag you down to the lower end where the pressure pot is, lying in the bottom four. Trying to scramble your way out of that becomes very difficult."
How big an achievement would a top-ten finish be for West Ham United in your first season back?
SA: "It would be unbelievable. I think it would be an outstanding feat for us in our first year back, and like I said it's not beyond us. I would have worried about that at the start of the season, but I know about everybody else now and I know about us and I know that's achievable with the squad we have.
"Hopefully we can get to 38 points as quickly as we can and try to finish the season with a few games left to achieve even more than 40 points. It has been a little disappointing recently, from a results point of view, that we haven't already clinched safety, because I think we should have done, based on our performances. But our lack of concentration and on some occasions, lack of goals, has made us linger on this subject and we all want to get it done and dusted and focus on hopefully another season in the Barclays Premier League."
Is West Bromwich Albion's success in the Premier League a blueprint for West Ham to follow?
SA: "No, because we don't want to go down and come back up, we want to stay up. My blueprint is Bolton Wanderers, when I was there, Blackburn Rovers when they came up with us and Fulham. We all came up together and we all stayed in the Premier League. In actual fact, Fulham are still there, some 15 years on I think. Bolton and Blackburn have slipped up recently and gone back down, but sustaining your Premier League status is the most difficult thing to do in year one, so if you manage it you reduce your percentage of being relegated. But certainly, we don't want to think about being relegated to come back up."