In-form West Ham are not focusing on the table despite Champions League prospect, says defender Ben Johnson

Karl Matchett
·2-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

West Ham United’s exploits in sitting fourth in the Premier League table haven’t gone unnoticed by the players, but keeping focus for one match at a time remains the plan, says Ben Johnson.

The 21-year-old has played an increasingly regular role of late, playing the full 90 minutes in the win over Sheffield United and appearing off the bench against both Manchester United in the FA Cup and, last time out, Tottenham in the league for the closing stages of a 2-1 win.

Johnson says that recent results have the Hammers looking good for at least Europa League football next season, if not Champions League action which their current spot in the table would be rewarded with - but the players aren’t keeping an eye on the position to avoid over-confidence.

READ MORE: Premier League fixtures and table - all matches by date and kick-off time

“European football is something that, at the moment, it looks like we’re on track for, but we’re just trying to take things week by week in training first and putting our finishing touches to how we want to go about each game,” he said to the club website.

“We’re not really focusing on the table because although the table doesn’t lie, it can give you a false sense of security.

“So I suppose we’re just hoping we can do the best we can and get as many points as we can from the last 13 games.”

This weekend, the Hammers face another big task as they travel to table-toppers Manchester City.

After a comfortable midweek win in Europe themselves, Pep Guardiola’s side have now won a quite remarkable 19 games on the spin in all competitions, but that doesn’t stop Johnson and his team-mates feeling that West Ham can cause another surprise result.

“We genuinely feel we can go toe-to-toe with them. This season, the Premier League is becoming more like the Championship where any team can beat anyone on their day.

“I know we’re going to set up correctly with a solid base to defend first and we’ve got the personnel to attack at pace, so we’re really looking forward to the game.”

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