"We have to have strong seasons to stay in the Premier League, it's a constant work for us" - Burnley boss Sean Dyche

Last season, one defeat in their last seven games - at home to Burnley - saw West Ham climb away from relegation trouble and finish 16th.

Friday, 30th April 2021, 9:55 am
Updated Friday, 30th April 2021, 9:56 am
David Moyes and Sean Dyche

David Moyes' side were ultimately five points clear of the drop zone, after three wins and three draws.

And this season, the Hammers have kicked on impressively, and come to Turf Moor on Monday night currently sitting fifth, three points behind Chelsea in the final Champions League spot, and firmly in the mix for the Europa League.

Burnley had similar fortunes as they went from finishing 16th in their first season back in the Premier League in 2016/17, to qualifying for the Europa League in seventh a season later.

In 2018/19 they were 15th, and ended the following season 10th, on the same points total that saw them return to continental football two years previously.

The Clarets are now 14th with five games to play, with safety effectively assured, nine points clear of the drop zone.

But how far away is Dyche's side from maybe pushing for European football again?

Dyche's first target remains survival - as close to the 40-point mark as possible, as early as possible, before seeing what else can be achieved, and he said: "When we qualified for Europe, a lot of things fell into place.

"I think I'm right in saying we had a very fit year as regards people staying fit, a very consistent outfit, performing well, some results that went for us that possibly wouldn't have another season - some went against us, to be fair - and we got points on the board early, which gave us a real foothold in the division.

"Last season similar - we finished 10th, but we matched the tally of points, 54.

"You look at that, and it's a strong season, but the table was different.

"We had a very strong season, that's for sure, and last year for different reasons.

"We have to have strong seasons to stay in the Premier League, it's a constant work for us.

"It's not an easy ride, and it isn't for anyone else, but certain clubs you think, even on a bad day you're going to be in the Premier League and win your fair share of games.

"Ours is a constant work in progress. I don't really overthink where it can go, this season I had full belief in this side being in the Premier League, and then we stay open-minded about what we can achieve.

"We've done that well here, I've never been against being open-minded, it's just there are other goals you have to get to first, to allow your shoulders to come back and make sure you can go out and play, and we've done that well."