Dimitri Payet explains how a defeat changed West Ham United's season

The French playmaker says that West Ham have improved since losing to Southampton.

Dimitri Payet has suggested to West Ham United's official website that a disappointing 1-0 defeat at Southampton last month was the catalyst for their rip-roaring Premier League form.

Maya Yoshida's goal at St Mary's on February 6 was enough to down the Hammers, who were eight points off the pace in their top-four bid at the time.

Slaven Bilic's side have responded brilliantly, however, beating Sunderland and title-chasing Spurs both by a 1-0 scoreline, before scoring three times in the final 11 minutes to beat Everton 3-2 on Saturday afternoon.

As it stands, the Irons are now just one point behind fourth-placed Manchester City and the dream of Champions League qualification remains very much on the table for Bilic and co.

And Payet, arguably West Ham's player of the season, says that a collective moment of reflection immediately after the Saints defeat has done wonders for the squad since then.

“After Southampton we were a little bit disappointed with this match and felt that we could have done better," the Frenchman said to the club's official website.

"We spoke of it just after the game, we were aware that we had to give more, we had to do more, and after that game the group has reacted well.

“I think that in those moments you see how the squad grows, the squad progresses, because it's true that the victory on Saturday was not handed to us, we had to seek it out.”

The East Londoners are also going strong in the FA Cup, though a tricky quarter-final clash away to Manchester United awaits them next Sunday.

On this form, though, Bilic's men will feel invincible.

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