Fan's column: Fantastic display from West Ham away to leaders Man City
- Credit: PA
The performance against Manchester City was magnificent, we matched the best side in the country and gave them arguably the hardest test of their 20-game winning streak.
The defeat, though disappointing, can only strengthen belief among fans and players alike that this team can finish in the top four; providing we can maintain this level of performance and avoid injuries to key personnel.
For far too long we’ve seen West Ham sides rock up to homes of the "big six" and just get battered for 90 minutes. This was simply not the case at the Etihad.
Defensively we looked solid, going forward we carried a threat and we were in the game right up until Issa Diop missed that crucial header in injury time.
We can take pride in that performance, we’re a good side and yes Champions League football is a realistic aim.
The narrative in the media at the moment seems to revolve around "West Ham are doing well because there are no fans in the stadium". This sentiment only serves to undermine the incredible job done by David Moyes, his coaching staff and the players. Credit should be given without the constant caveat.
With 12 games to go we’re fourth and results over the weekend concerning the top four runners and riders were mixed.
- 1 Overnight closure of Stratford Centre to continue for another 18 months
- 2 Motorcyclist, 19, in critical condition after hitting barriers on A13 Newham Way
- 3 Motorcyclist, 19, remains in ‘life-threatening’ condition after A13 incident
- 4 Olympian burglary: Men with links to Plaistow and Isle of Dogs wanted
- 5 Wanted: Man known to commit offences on train and tube network
- 6 ‘It is not tolerated’: CCTV images released after West Ham game disorder
- 7 Donor appeal as East Ham man needs second kidney transplant
- 8 West Ham boss Moyes disappointed by Leeds defeat
- 9 Tributes to 'much-loved' Stratford theatre worker Harvey Parker
- 10 Flat above garage damaged in Manor Park fire
Leicester and Manchester United are still within striking distance, the former now have an unforgiving injury list at the worst possible time; with the likes of James Maddison, Harvey Barnes and Jonny Evans facing spells on the sidelines.
However, Liverpool and Spurs are breathing down our necks; the Reds can overtake us if they beat Chelsea in their next fixture, while a point for the Blues will move them above us on goal difference.
Meanwhile Tottenham could be just three points behind us by the time we kick off against Leeds on Monday night.
The pressure is on, but this is pressure we should relish. We’re the underdog, we’re not supposed to be here and yet we are. If we miss out on a seat at the top table it’s not the end of the world. But it is for the sides we’re competing with.
Europe will be a big factor in this race with Liverpool, Spurs, Chelsea and Manchester United still in continental competitions. That gives us, Leicester and Everton a huge advantage as we head into single figure games.
There will be more twists and turns as this season reaches its climax. It’s a lot more exciting fighting for fourth, than fourth from bottom.