Issa Diop says West Ham United need to improve as they embark on a run of games against teams in and around them in the Premier League table.
Having played eleven of the twelve teams above them in their opening 13 games this term, Manuel Pellegrini’s men will now take on six of the sides below in their next seven outings.
But Diop says that does not mean the Hammers can take anything for granted and they will have to get better in both boxes if they are to make the most of this sequence.
The Londoners were undone by a clinical Manchester City side in Saturday’s 4-0 loss, so the first thing on Diop’s mind is stopping goals going into the Hammers’ net.
He said: “You never have an easy game in the Premier League – every game is very hard. Maybe we are playing teams more in the middle of the table and below us now, but every game is tough, so we need to improve.
“We must win against these teams because it also stops them taking the points. The manager said to us the difference on Saturday was in the details because we didn’t play well in either box. We can do better.”
Diop is happy to welcome Andy Carroll back into the Hammers squad after his ankle injury, and after testing himself against the striker in training, he is looking forward to seeing his impact on the pitch.
He added: “It’s good training against Andy, because he is an international player. He is difficult to play against because he is big and physical and it’s good for the team that he is fit again.
“He will give us a different option and he’s very good inside the box.