West Ham coach admits defeat in chase for Champions League places

West Ham - Upton Park: Boleyn Ground

West Ham United are readjusting their aims for the season after failing to win for seven games.

The sixth-placed Hammers are flying high this season and have impressed fans and pundits alike by mounting a serious challenge for the Champions League places.

Slaven Bilic has reinvigorated the East Londoners and with stars such as Dimitri Payet and Manuel Lanzini, the Hammers are playing the 'West Ham way' once more.

The club narrowly missed out on a trip to Wembley after being held by a late goal against Manchester United at Old Trafford before losing 2-1 in the replay at Upton Park last week.

Reffing hell: No win in seven

But they have failed to win since their remarkable 3-2 comeback win over Everton at Goodison Park at the beginning of March.

A string of poor refereeing decisions has cost the Hammers dear in recent weeks including against Premier League leaders Leicester City on Sunday.

A controversial last gasp penalty for the Foxes held the Hammers to a 2-2 draw leaving the club seven points off Manchester City and Arsenal in third and fourth place respectively with five games to play.

'We stay in the fight'

Now Hammers assistant manager Nikola Jurcevic has conceded to West Ham's official website that his side must have more realistic ambitions for the rest of the season.

“We stay in the fight for fifth place and our dreams of European football are still alive," Jurcevic told whufc.com.

"We have another game on Wednesday and we have a good chance to win this game at home.

“It is realistic for us to play in a European position but we have to focus on the Watford game.

"Our advantage is that we have a good spirit in the team and we will try to do everything to stay in the top five.”

Four-way battle for Europa League

Jurcevic's side trail fifth-placed Manchester United by three points and will play the Red Devils in the last ever game at the club's beloved Boleyn Ground home of 112 years next month.

That match could go some way to deciding who qualifies for the Europa League, although should Louis van Gaal's side go on to lift the FA Cup and finish fifth the Hammers could qualify by finishing in their current position of sixth.

They face a fight from the likes of Liverpool and Southampton as well, though, as the race to play in a competition which rewards the winners with a place in the Champions League hots up.

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