West Ham legend: The reason why Hammers have lost form recently

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Tony Cottee believes there is a key reason behind West Ham’s recent decline in form.

The Hammers have won just one game since mid January, and Cottee has told London24 what is the reason behind their poor form.

The former striker said: “West Ham are definitely in the comfort zone and that is a tough place to be in the few remaining games of the season.

“However hard you think you are trying, your performance has probably dropped five per cent, while Leicester who are fighting hard for their lives, will raise theirs five per cent and that makes games unpredictable.”

It is true that West Ham’s top flight status was all-but guaranteed before 2014 was out, with their place in the top four at New Year’s Day suggesting they could move even higher.

Since then, they have faced teams who are fighting even more for survival, and their most recent loss to Leicester suggests that they are being affected by the end-of-season nothingness associated with being a mid-table team.

They cannot be relegated, or achieve qualification for Europe, and so they have started entering games with nothing to play for. Whilst many would not admit it, this situation certainly would have an effect upon the mentality of the players.

There is no shame to this, although it is disappointing for the fans who have have paid to see their team not put the effort in until the end of the campaign.

The real worry with such a situation is that it set in so early, despite the East London club sitting inside the top four before Christmas. Rather than thinking about their safety being secured and easing off, the Hammers should have been looking to consolidate their European qualification, and there should be an enquiry into why the playing squad could not cope with the demands of the second half of the Premier League season.

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