David Moyes acknowledged that someone who told him at the start of the season that West Ham would be above the champions in February would not have believed him.
In and around the top of the Premier League, however, the Hammers manager has warned the teams that there is, even more, to come from his high-flying side.
Despite seeing their only known striker, Michail Antonio, hurt again, West Ham swatted away Sheffield United 3-0.
Instead, as goals from Declan Rice, Issa Diop and Ryan Fredericks lifted them above Liverpool and briefly into fourth place, loanee Jesse Lingard provided the attacking threat.
“If someone had said that, I wouldn’t have believed it at the beginning of the season,” said Moyes, whose side this time last year were profoundly in relegation trouble.
But our form was strong after the lockdown and a few signings went very well for us and the players kicked on.
Before April, we have five games and if we make it there, it could start to get heavy. Yet it almost feels weird talking like this.
The teams around us are top, top teams and to be there, we’re going to have to play incredibly well. But I suppose we’ve got another gear or two for what we showed this evening.
I can’t tell you how well the players did and I think we’ve got another level. It’s a very nice result and very few teams are going to get three goals against Sheffield United.
Just before half-time after Lingard was brought down by Chris Basham, Rice opened the scoring from the penalty spot, West Ham’s first spot-kick of the season.