West Ham’s response to being pointless and bottom after the last international break has been exemplary.
Seven points from nine available against Everton, Chelsea and Manchester United; with a historic 8-0 thumping of Macclesfield in between represents a hugely impressive return.
The board and the players united behind Manuel Pellegrini; who himself proved himself capable of seeing out a crisis and implementing an attractive style of play at the London Stadium.
Can they keep it going?
Tonight’s trip to Brighton represents what could be seen as a return to normality for West Ham. The mini-crisis of the opening weeks has been averted and the club is climbing the table.
Those three post-international games were worrying, but their toughness focused the mind. The trip to Goodison was a must-win game and visits from the top six tend to make players raise their game.
The game at the Amex is not a special game; not a disaster if it is lost and does not see the Hammers face any particularly on-form players or a team who is flying.
But it is an opportunity to show consistency. Without any special motivating factors, can the players get themselves up for it and keep the good run going?
Pellegrini sees the threat
Pellegrini’s pre-match comments make it clear that he does not want to see complacency set in. It could easily be the case after last weekend’s win over Manchester United.
He is keen to emphasise the importance of putting a run of form together, treating every game the same and not throwing away opportunities in winnable games.
The Chilean said: “Brighton have a strong team and had the same manager for a couple of seasons, so we must be aware of them. We expect always a difficult game against every team, for different reasons.
“In the Premier League every game is different. Brighton also beat Manchester United and they are at home so we have to be very clear in the way we approach the game.”