At the beginning of the current season, West Ham United did not exactly enjoy the rub of the green in the Barclays Premier League.

The Hammers suffered a horrendous succession of injuries, losing Andy Carroll, Winston Reid, Alou Diarra and Ricardo Vaz Te to long-term absences, while a series of agonising defeats left the players and staff wondering what they had done to deserve their misfortune.

Now, West Ham's fortunes are no longer hiding, with a run of four straight victories in February carrying the Club from 18th to tenth in the table.

Reid's return to the squad after three months out with a high ankle sprain has coincided with the upturn in results, and the No2 believes West Ham have deserved their improvement.

"The last five games, we have been performing really well and have picked up four wins and draw, so points-wise it's been brilliant," said the New Zealand defender. "At this stage six weeks ago, it wasn't looking the best, but we've picked up a lot."

"I just think we have had luck on our side as well, which we didn't have at the beginning of the season when free-kicks were going in from everywhere and decisions were going against us.

"You always get that over the season, so you just need that little bit of luck and I think we're playing well as a team, scoring goals and keeping the back door shut."

Reid has been part of keeping that 'back door shut' in recent weeks, appearing as a substitute in the victories over Swansea, Aston Villa and Southampton when Sam Allardyce has opted to go five at the back late on.

Having had a replacement's role in those wins, Reid is now biding his time as he works to win back his place in the starting XI for the first time since the goalless draw at home to Aston Villa on 2 November.

"It's been OK. I've come on for the last 15 minutes a couple of times and I've had to do my job to help us to keep a clean sheet.

"I've been out for three-and-a-bit months so I need time to get myself right and take it from there."

Reid may or may not start at Everton on Saturday, but whoever does line up in the back four will have a testing afternoon on their hands against Roberto Martinez's top-four challengers.

"It won't be easy because it's a tough place to go. They are a good team with a good manager, so it'll be tough but we've shown we can pick up points left, right and centre in the last five games.

"Hopefully we can go up there and pick up some more points and bring them back to London."

One player who West Ham will have to watch carefully is Everton forward Romelu Lukaku, who scored the late winner in the reverse fixture at the Boleyn Ground in September and is expected to return from an ankle injury on Saturday.

"I think you have to accept that sometimes he is going to get the ball and you can't really do anything about it. You have to pick your battles and pick your moments when you're going to go for the ball.

"He's a good player, he's strong and he finishes his chances off really well too, so we'll have to watch him."

While Reid and company will take nothing for granted at Goodison Park, the No2 says West Ham can go to Merseyside in relaxed and confident mood following their recent run of results. That said, the 25-year-old says the Hammers are determined to finish the season strongly.

"I think we can go there confident and looking up the table rather than down it. Maybe six weeks ago, we weren't thinking that, but there's now seven points between us and the bottom three, so we've given ourselves a bit of breathing space.

"We'd like to hit the 40-point mark as quickly as possible."