Vladimir Coufal has admitted the anguish he and many others have felt this season with West Ham failing to live up to the expectations set from recent campaigns.

Our Hammers are, to much of the surprise of most, in the midst of a relegation battle having struggled for form in the first half of the season, although things are certainly improving of late – with David Moyes’ side defeated only once in the opening seven matches of 2023 so far.

Coufal is one of the key reasons for the recent upturn in results, with the Czech international looking back to his best following the switch to a ‘back-3’ system with Coufal operating in a more suited wing-back role.

The player though has admitted the pain of having to deal with a relegation fight, stating that speaking to fans at times hasn’t been easy, with some questioning the team after failing to deliver in the early months of the campaign.

“Fans pay to watch us play,” Coufal told Football London. “Sometimes when I meet them on the street, some will ask for an autograph which is OK, but others will ask: ‘Why are we playing s***?’ I try to be polite and say: ‘It’s football, everyone wants to win but sometimes it’s not possible’.

“We can do everything on the pitch to give them a good result and make them happy. That’s our job. We have to deal with fans like that sometimes, it’s part of the job.”

Coufal also admitted that even just looking at the Premier League table has been painful and something that he has been trying to avoid, although there is hope that soon our Hammers can once again start looking up rather than over the shoulder.

“We have to climb from the relegation zone,” added Coufal. “One month ago it was horrible to check the Premier League table. That’s why I didn’t check it for months because it was horrible seeing West Ham near the relegation zone. Now we are climbing up the table and hopefully we can keep going until the end of the season.”