Carl Jenkinson is expecting Sunderland to come out fighting in Saturday's game at the Boleyn Ground.
The Black Cats' trip to east London is their first since dispensing with Gus Poyet's services as manager and replacing him with experienced Dutchman Dick Advocaat.
For Jenkinson, the change at the top comes at an awkward time for the Hammers, although he is still confident of returning to winning ways against the relegation battlers.
"We had a similar situation earlier in the season too when we played West Brom at home," he said. "Tony Pulis had just been appointed as manager and it always gives the team a boost at the end of the day.
"They'll have something to prove and a new manager to impress. That makes things harder in itself but we just have to focus on ourselves.
"They're a decent side, so we know it's going to be a difficult game, but we're at home and we need to start getting results. That needs to start on Saturday."
Jenkinson is convinced that improvement in results is just around the corner, especially as the Hammers have been unfortunate not to pick up more points against some of the division's top teams in recent weeks.
"I think performance-wise in the main we've done quite well," he explained. "If you look at the Man United game, the Spurs game, even the Chelsea game, we should have got more than we did out of them.
"We got two points when it could have been six or seven and things like that haven't really been going for us. Our performances haven't been reflected in the results.
"As long as we keep the performance level high, the results will come. At the start of the season the goal was to finish in the top ten. Being where we are now the goal changes and when you're in this position you don't just settle for it.
"You re-assess your goals and make new ones. That's what we've done and the aim is to try and get a European spot. I don't think that's out of our reach as we have winnable games between now and the end of the season.
"We just need to get that first win again to go on a little run and if we can do that I think we can achieve our aims."