Christmas dinners across the East End of London will taste a little sweeter this year as their local footballing heroes are allowing them to dream big again.
West Ham United have been one of the Premier League’s surprise packages this season, along with Southampton.
Both sides have impressed over the first half of the campaign and have positioned themselves among the frontrunners as a result.
The Hammers sit fourth, with only regular title-chasers Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea above them.
Sam Allardyce has done a remarkable job, with a fan base which has questioned him at times starting to buy into his way of doing things.
He hopes a united cause will continue to deliver results, but admits he cannot afford to get carried away in the wave of positivity which is sweeping through Upton Park.
Allardyce told Sky Sports’ Goals on Sunday: “For us this season, it’s just about enjoying the position we’re in and see at the end of January whether we reset our own goals and say, ‘Can we finish in the top six, is it possible?’.
“If we’re going to finish in the top six, we’re going to have to recalculate our lads’ presentation to show what they are going to have to do between now and the end of the season to finish there. But at this moment in time, if we carry on the way we are, we’re predicted a top-four finish. Whether we will or whether we won’t is another matter.”
West Ham overcame struggling Leicester City 2-0 on Saturday to record a fourth victory in their last five outings.
Consistency over the course of the entire campaign has helped to put them in this position, with Allardyce having brought the best out of those at his disposal.
He has also added well and will have another opportunity in January to bolster the ranks and help push the Hammers towards the ultimate goal of bringing continental football back to the Boleyn Ground.