West Ham full-back Joey O'Brien is keen for the club to exceed pre-season targets, and belives they are close to doing so.

The east Londoners travel to Manchester City at the weekend with 40 points under their belts, and the Irishman is eager to end the campaign in the Premier League's upper half.

"At the start of the season a top ten finish was always the target," he told the club's official website.

"There wasn't any talk of relegation when we set out in pre-season and look at us now, we're right on track to finish in the top half of the table."

The Hammers brushed aside relegation-threatened Wigan with ease on Saturday, but O'Brien insisted hard work was the main reason for their success up till now.

"As a newly promoted team that's a fantastic achievement. Although Reading won the Championship last season, they've struggled this year."

West Ham's victory against the Latics was their fifth unbeaten league match and Sam Allardyce's side now look a much more compact outfit than the one that kicked off in August.

O'Brien was also full of praise for ex-Bolton teammate Kevin Nolan, who netted his 100th career goal at Upton Park during the 2-0 win.

"He's been doing it all his career," he said. "Kevin gets the important ones, when it matters."

The Hammers' home form has been superb this term – having lost only four at the Boleyn Ground – and this has proved to be the foundation for their comfortable league position.


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