Michail Antonio says West Ham are determined to make up for lost time this season.
The Hammers made it back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time in almost two years by beating Cardiff 3-1 on Tuesday night.
Two goals from Lucas Perez – his first in the top flight for precisely 700 days – and Antonio’s first league goal of the campaign lifted West Ham towards mid-table.
Their prospects suddenly look a lot brighter than after the first four matches of the season, all of which were defeats to leave the Hammers playing catch-up.
With fixtures against Crystal Palace, Fulham, Watford, Burnley and Southampton to come in December, Manuel Pellegrini’s side should be targeting a place in the top half by the turn of the year.
“We’ve scored six goals in the last two games now,” said Antonio. “We didn’t get any points from the first four games this season, so now we’re clawing back those points we missed out on at the start.
“We need to take points from the teams around us in the next few games and see how high we can go in the league.”
However, West Ham are assessing an injury to key forward Marko Arnautovic which if, as feared, is a hamstring problem, could rule him out of the festive period.
Cardiff remain without an away win this season but would have taken a first-half lead had Joe Ralls converted a penalty.
Instead, they only managed a stoppage-time consolation through Josh Murphy.
Boss Neil Warnock is desperate for reinforcements in January with a midfielder and a striker his priorities.
“I’m hoping we can get three or four to help the lads that are here,” he said.
“If I didn’t get another defender, it wouldn’t worry me.
“More importantly we’ve got to have someone up our sleeve if something happens to (Aron) Gunnarsson and we’ve got to have a striker as we can’t ask (Callum) Paterson to do it, even though I thought that was his best game.”