Academy graduate Ben Johnson has spoken of his continued development and our determination to now compete with the top sides in the Premier League, with a top 4 finish in sight.

The Hammers defender was also particularly full of praise for manager David Moyes in aiding his development and helping him maintain a solid start in his first team career.

“I’ve not really known the manager for that long, only a couple of seasons, but some of the lads had him prior and he kept us in the Premier League then, then kept us in the Premier League when he came back for a second stint and all the lads have a great relationship with him.

“When he came in, he was assertive, and he knew what he wanted and what he could get out of every single player and he wasn’t willing to negate that.

“For me, I feel like he has a lot of faith in me and I have a lot of confidence in him on the training pitch and in games. He wants everyone to do well and for me to play well, so he’s certainly on me if I make a mistake and that’s something you want as a player, someone who sets high standards and keeps people on their toes.

“He’s been great with me and given me the opportunity in games to show what I can do. He’s put me in different positions and that shows real faith and is testament to him and to me as well that I can play in different positions and start for his side.

“I just want to repay the faith and put in good performances for him and for me.

“We want to continue to compete with the bigger teams in the league, the top four teams, because I feel we can compete. On paper, our squad is there or thereabouts but, of course, it’s putting it into practice and being consistent over a 38-game season and that’s what the best teams do.

“When they’re not playing so well, they can grind out results against teams with different setups and I feel that’s where we can improve. It’s not when we’re playing the Liverpools or Man Citys, but when we’re playing with other teams who may set up differently and give us the ball and let us have it, so it’s difficult to go into every game and get the result but that’s something we’re trying to do and what we’re working on every day on the training training pitch, to work out our opponents’ weaknesses.

“Who knows how far West Ham could go? To be honest, hopefully we can try and win some silverware. We’re in the fourth round of the FA Cup so that would be brilliant, but it’s going to be difficult.”