Goalkeeper Darren Randolph says West Ham have regained some confidence after battling their way out of relegation trouble.
West Ham were as low as 17th back in December, but three straight wins lifted them away from the drop-zone – with the club now 11th in the table.
A new stadium and the expectation of building on a seventh-placed finish from last season ultimately saw West Ham struggle in the opening months of the campaign.
And while Randolph conceded that West Ham’s performances were not up to scratch, the shot-stopper pointed towards manager Slaven BIlic as the reason for their recovery.
“I think everyone was hoping for an easier ride. We did play well in some games at the start of the season but didn’t do it for the whole game,” Randolph told Sky Sports.
“Mistakes then creep in and you end up losing games you should be winning, and you end up dropping points.
“I don’t think the stadium was a big a deal as what people thought it was at the start of the season but the more time that goes on with no results or performances, then it becomes an issue.
“We’ve managed to put that right now. We’ve had some good results at home and have managed to move up the table from where we were.
“There’s a lot of frustration because we know we’re a lot better. After a few heavy defeats it’s only natural that it knocks your confidence, but the one thing the manager said to us was don’t last that confidence, it will come good again.
“It took probably the two results against Hull and Burnley at home, where we didn’t play well but got the two wins. From then on, that’s when we picked things up again and get that confidence back.”
Randolph is currently holding off Adrian as West Ham’s number-one choice in goal, but that hasn’t always been the case for the Republic of Ireland international.
The 29-year-old knows how quickly things can change but is determined to keep his place in West Ham’s starting XI.
“Since arriving I’ve had a few high and lots of lows. Listening to everybody, fans and staff, they’ll just tell you that’s West Ham. You have high and low moments, but everybody sticks together and stays with it,” Randolph added.
“It’s different to the out-field boys because there are more positions for them to potentially come on and impress.
“There’s just the one for ‘keepers and we don’t really get injured or sent off that often, so there can be times where it’s frustrating, but you need to be patient and be ready for your chance when it comes.
“I always had the belief [I would be number one again], I just needed the chance. When you come into the team you need a long period of sustained performances to stay in. I know very easily now that I could come back out again.”