West Ham boss David Moyes wants the club to start ‘promising less but delivering more’ if they retain their Premier League status.
The Hammers boldly declared they were targeting a top-six place when they moved into the London Stadium in 2016 and finished 10th last season.
But after a bright start this term they are struggling in 16th place.
“It’s absolutely massive for us to stay in the league,” Moyes said. “Anything but the Premier League won’t be good.”
Wins against Chelsea and Norwich have stabilised the situation and victory over fellow strugglers Watford on Friday should be enough to keep the Hammers up, after which Moyes can begin reshaping the club.
“One of the things I heard in lockdown came from the Archbishop of York. He said ‘promise less, deliver more’. That has to be a bit of West Ham,” said Moyes.
“We can’t keep promising that we are going to go so high.”
Moyes, who returned to the Hammers in December for a second spell in charge, says the club is doing no forward planning until they know for certain which league they will be in next season.
Then, he wants a cultural reset – away from the view he had of West Ham when he was at Everton, namely of a ‘flaky, inconsistent’ side.
That is a view that was reinforced by one of his earliest memories from the first time he was appointed manager in November 2017, when Watford were his first opponents.
“My biggest memory from that night was Marko [Arnautovic] coming off with a sore finger,” said the Scot. “I thought ‘my goodness, what is this I have got here?’.
“It was my perception [that West Ham were soft] and a lot of managers would still see it that way. It is something we need to change. We have to alter that culture.”
Moyes is keen not to get carried away with thoughts of next season.
He refused to agree victory against Watford would secure a ninth successive top flight season and, after a difficult start to his second tenure, when he won only two of his first 12 Premier League games, he noted his hair has changed a bit.
“There are a lot of grey hairs but I don’t think anyone would have expected anything else,” he said.
“We were in a difficult position when I arrived and we are still in it. Away in the distance is a wee spot of light and we are aiming to get to it.”