Tomkins targeting biggest away win yet

James Tomkins says his side are full of confidence ahead of Sunday's derby
James Tomkins has hailed the Hammers’ fresh approach adopted under Slaven Bilic as one of the main reasons why West Ham United have started the season so strongly.

The centre-back has been in superb form recently, featuring in all but one of the Hammers’ opening twelve league games, both at right-back and at the heart of defence.

Speaking ahead of Sunday’s London derby with rivals Tottenham Hotspur, Tomkins said: “Our style this season has changed quite a lot. Last season we were very keen on defending and being very solid and hard to break down.

“The manager is very positive and encouraging, he wants us to try things, be adventurous and shoot more often, I think you can see that, it’s working and people are enjoying watching us.

“We’ve had a great start to the year; we’re sixth at the moment even though we’ve had some disappointing results. If you’d have said that at the start of the season I don’t think many people would have believed it.

“I think the whole ethos and mentality of the club is changing. The new manager has raised that level of expectation and the move to the Olympic Stadium has also elevated our status already, and I’m sure that’ll continue when we actually move.

“I think you can see the change in the perception from outside the club too. Everton always beat us, but last time round, they were happy with the draw, you could see their reaction at full time that they saw a point as a good result. 
Following the famous victories away at Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City, Tomkins is eyeing a further prosperous away day at White Hart Lane.

“As a fan, it would certainly be the biggest away win of the season. We’ve had some big wins but this would top them all, definitely.

 “We’ve had some unbelievable away results; Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City were all special days for the Club. Obviously beating Chelsea at home was also very nice.

“When we get the fixtures at the start of the year, it’s one of the games we look first for. It’s a huge game, one the fans certainly enjoy.” 
After twelve games, the Hammers find themselves riding high in sixth place, just one spot behind Spurs on goal difference. 

Reflecting on the Hammers’ strong start to Bilic’s debut season in the Premier League, Tomkins continued: “Confidence is sky high and so it should be. We should be concentrating on as higher finish as possible, the manager said the sky is the limit and he’s right. If we keep working hard, we’ve shown what we can do.

“If you look at our team on paper, you can see the quality we’ve got. Overall it’s been a really good start to the year. Our attacking players particularly have been brilliant.

“This time last season, we were flying but that dropped off. I think we have the squad to maintain this form over the season.”

While the 26-year-old has clearly enjoyed working under Bilic, he reiterated his belief that there was more to come, individually and as a team.

“We’re searching for that balance, and I think we’re getting better. This season we have a lot more players who can change games.

“We’re still getting used to each other, so I think there’s room for improvement. That is just a matter of time and hopefully we’ll get stronger as the season continues.

“Personally, I’m happy with my form at the moment. I feel good when I play, that confidence is massive because it allows you to play to your full capability.”