West Ham boss David Moyes knows his side have to rise to the “challenge” of back-to-back trips to Manchester City and Liverpool.
The Hammers have slipped into the bottom three ahead of the two toughest fixtures of the season, away to the defending champions and then the runaway leaders.
Yet despite a daunting schedule, Moyes remains convinced he can lead his side to survival.
He said: “All I can say is, you play everybody twice in the league and we have got a lot of other teams to play.
“I don’t think in football there’s many tougher matches, only a few clubs in Europe you would call tougher games. But it’s also a challenge.
“Whoever the best teams are someone’s out there trying to plot to beat them. All the managers are thinking, ‘what system can I beat them with, what players can I get?’
“You only need to look at City’s success, but Liverpool have gone out to find a way of getting better players and a better team to beat them. So people are now out to beat Liverpool.
“When I was at Manchester United everyone was out to beat them. Teams improved. That’s the way football goes. We’ll go into both games knowing it’s no easy task, but we’ll try everything we can to get a result.”
Moyes landed free-scoring winger Jarrod Bowen from Hull on deadline day, but has warned not to expect too much from the 23-year-old just yet.
“I think that he is a player who has done really well in the Championship and not just for one season, it has been two or three seasons, so he has had to earn his stripes and show he can do it there,” said the Scot.
“From that, it gives me great hope that he can step up. But I have also dealt with lots of players from the Championship, I’ve taken Leighton Baines, Phil Jagielka, John Stones, Tim Cahill. Some have come in and done a job quickly while others have taken their time to settle.
“I won’t find that out about Jarrod yet but I will do in time, and the truth is we need him, the team needs him. But we can’t be putting added pressure on new players to completely make all the difference here, you need to give them a chance to settle.”