David Moyes insists it is too early to write off the Premier League’s newly promoted sides and warned his West Ham players to expect a backlash when Sheffield United visit the London Stadium tomorrow.
The Blades were hammered 8-0 at home by Newcastle last Sunday and sit bottom of the division on goal-difference having taken just one point from their first six matches.
West Ham are hefty favourites to pile on the misery, the optimism around their excellent start to the season undimmed by successive league defeats to Manchester City and Liverpool, and while the visit of Paul Heckingbottom’s men looks the ideal opportunity to return to winnings ways, Moyes is taking little for granted.
“I wouldn't say they were vulnerable,” the Scot said. “They had a poor result last week but they are a side who did really well to get promoted from the Championship.
“The manager did a brilliant job getting them to the Premier League. I see it as a really tough game. Last week might have been a one-off, it might not have been. But we're the next game and it's going to be tough.
“We'll have to be at our best and play well, show good qualities defensively, good quality on the ball and if we are going to win the game we are going have to show that we can finish well as well.”
Already, all three look to be facing an uphill battle for survival but Moyes believes there is plenty of time for the trio to find their feet.
“Some teams coming into the Premier League might take time to settle, some might not, they might find it’s just a step above where they are,” he said. “The teams in the middle part of the Premier League have all improved, are all getting better so it makes it harder for the teams coming up.
“But last year, Fulham, Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest came up and all stayed up. I remember the year I got to the play-off final against Bolton with Preston, the three teams that went up - Blackburn, Fulham and Bolton - all stayed up the next year.
“Last year, it made the Premier League really strong because the three teams that came up stayed up. Maybe this year looks slightly different, but I think it might be a bit early to make that call. Normally it’s after about ten games.”