West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini feels trust will be key to whether his team can maintain their impressive start to the new season.
The Irons recovered from a 5-0 home demolition by Manchester City in the first Premier League fixture to pick up seven points from the next three games.
Having again improved the squad in the summer with the £45million signing of French forward Sebastian Haller, exceptions have been raised of a positive campaign ahead.
Pellegrini, though, knows progress can only be maintained if everyone is pushing for the same goal – both at the training base and out on the pitch.
“In the way that we are working right now, one season (before) and three months of this new season, the players are having more trust in what they must do in every game,” said Pellegrini, who took charge in May 2018.
“Football can be so quick to change though that you must understand it is not just a matter of trust.
“It is to play as a team, 11 players defending and then with the ball, 11 players making movements and when you have that trust, you have a positive mentality in your players.
“But we are just starting, I think that every game we must play as a final.”
West Ham reported no fresh injury concerns following the international break.
Winger Michail Antonio, though, is set for a spell of rehabilitation following surgery on a hamstring problem suffered during the Carabao Cup win at Newport.
Pellegrini believes all the factors are in place to move forward.
“We are in a good general moment and we must try to extend it in the next game,” the Chilean coach said.
“But we must be sure that we did against Norwich will not be enough against Aston Villa. We need to repeat that game with a higher performance.”
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.