West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola has highlighted their next two games as crucial in their fight to stay out of the bottom three.
The Hammers' 4-0 defeat to Manchester United left them just one point above the drop zone, and they now face back-to-back games on the road. They travel to Birmingham on Saturday looking to secure only their fourth win of the season, before a mid-week trip to Bolton.
Their only away win so far this season came on the opening day of the season when goals from Mark Noble and Matthew Upson secured all three points at Wolves. Two wins before Christmas would give Zola's side some breathing room, and the former Chelsea midfielder is keen for his side to put Saturday's defeat behind them.
"The next two games can really make a difference for us, starting on Saturday," Zola told the Premier League official website. "We have to forget quickly about Manchester United because they are on a different level and right now we can't compete with them. Saturday is a big match and we need a very big performance."
Zola knows that six points from the next two games, would help take the pressure off and move them away from the bottom three before they host Chelsea at Upton Park on December 20.
"We are in a relegation fight," he said. We have to accept that. We need to make a real effort to get out of this position straight away. There are teams with 17 points in the middle of the table, so if you get a couple of points you can move up quickly. And it's not only difficult for us to get points, it is hard for the other teams around us too.