Jesse Lingard: There's huge belief in the team
West Ham United's thrilling victory over Leicester City on Sunday followed a familiar recent patten for Jesse Lingard and his teammates.
Just as against Arsenal and Wolverhampton Wanderers in recent weeks, the Hammers flew out of the blocks and roared into a 3-0 lead, with Lingard at the heart of their attacking thrust.
The 28-year-old's rich vein of form shows no sign of letting up, as he added two more goals to his tally since signing on loan from Manchester United, taking him to eight and three assists in just nine games as a Hammer.
David Moyes' men were forced to dig deep, though, as - just as against Arsenal and Wolves - the opposition came back into the contest in the second period.
Kelechi Iheanacho scored twice in the final 20 minutes, but West Ham held on for three massive points to climb back into the top four, and Lingard says their inner belief is behind their continued fine form.
"We always seem to make it like that at the end!" he smiled. "It’s been like that for the last three games, but we’re still learning as a team and we’re still growing, so we’ll take the positives and the negatives out of this game.
"It seems like we always start off really well, quickly and on the front foot, and we put teams under pressure early.
"[We want to] start in the second half like that and push on for four or five goals.
"But there's big belief in the team and a huge confidence going on at the moment. We take each game as it comes and we’ll keep that concentration going to the end of the season."
There are few superlatives remaining to describe Lingard's own form. Without Michail Antonio on Sunday due to injury, the Hammers shrugged off his absence in style, Lingard combining with Jarrod Bowen and Pablo Fornals to great effect as the Hammers threatened to run away with the contest.
Lingard seems to be arriving in the right place at the right time in all the key moments right now, and he puts that down to the confidence flowing through his football.
"I’m picking up good positions where I know the ball will fall and then it’s down to me to put the ball in the back of the net," he explained.
"It’s confidence, instinct, knowing the players, knowing where the right back and left back are going to put it and being in the right position.
"I think the first one was off my shin! The ball already had a bit of curl on it and it’s ended up in the net.
"Everyone thought Jarrod was offside for the second, but we play to the whistle and he’s put it on a plate. It’s still down to having the concentration and focus to put the ball away.
"We’ve got something to fight for and that’s great. Each week we’re playing games like it’s a cup final and doing our best to get the three points. Today again we held on for the win and took the three points."