Payet - We're ready to pounce

Dimitri Payet says the Hammers are feeling strong ahead of the closing straight
Dimitri Payet says the Hammers are ready to pounce, should any of their rivals for a top four place in the Barclays Premier League slip up over the closing portion of the 2015/16 season.

After a run of eleven points from their last five games, Slaven Bilic’s men find themselves just a point behind fourth placed Manchester City.

That has sparked talk in the media about a challenge for UEFA Champions League football from the Hammers, and although Payet is not getting ahead of himself, he believes the east Londoners can push those established front-runners all the way.

He said: “We are there waiting to pounce should the opportunity present itself and if we finish in the top five, then that will be a great achievement for us.

“At Chelsea, we were a couple of minutes or a few metres from the victory. For their first, we felt that the wall was too far back and for their second, it seems that the foul happened outside of the box. This is why we are disappointed with the result.
We are happy to be playing here and for a player like myself, this can only be of benefit to my game
“But we played well. We went there to win and we gave it all we could and you have to remember that we were playing against Chelsea. We made a couple of mistakes that they took advantage of and that’s the reason we leave thinking that we have lost two points.”

Payet departed from Stamford Bridge to link up with the France squad for their international friendlies against the Netherlands and Russia.

With France hosting the European Championship finals this summer, the Hammers No27 would love to be involved and he credits the team atmosphere at West Ham for helping him show his best form.

He added: “We have a good group who get on well, so it hasn’t been difficult to adapt to the game here. We are happy to be playing here and for a player like myself, this can only be of benefit to my game.”