Photo by Arfa Griffiths West Ham United via Getty Images

Sky Sports pundit has told Manuel Pellegrini what West Ham United’s aims should be for the rest of the season.

West Ham endured a difficult start to life under the Chilean kicking off the campaign with four straight league defeats.

Things have slowly but surely improved.

Having not won a major trophy for nearly 40 years Hammers fans go into every season hoping for a cup run.

Photo by Bryn Lennon Getty Images

Merson sets Pellegrini target

So they were disappointed when they were dumped out of the league cup by rivals Spurs last week.

Pellegrini’s side bounced back with a 4-2 home win over Burnley last time out, though.

A run of more favourable fixtures should see the Hammers continue their upward trend.

And Sky Sports pundit Merson has urged Pellegrini to keep attacking and go for it in the FA Cup instead.

Photo by Arfa Griffiths West Ham United via Getty Images

‘For me that’s the best they can do’

“If we were sat here a week earlier (before West Ham exited the league cup at the hands of Spurs), I’d have said a cup run,” Merson told Sky Sports.

“They’re not going to get relegated, they don’t want to come seventh because then you’re in the Europa and I don’t know anybody who don’t moan when they get in that.

“Hopefully they’ll put themselves in a position where they can take a right chance in the FA Cup. For me that’s the best they can do and play like they did (against Burnley) I enjoyed it, it was entertaining football.”

Photo by John Patrick Fletcher Action Plus via Getty Images

Festive fixtures hold the key

West Ham travel to Huddersfield on Saturday looking for their first back-to-back wins in the Premier League since January 2017.

Do that and they will be safely ensconced in midtable ahead of their easier run of matches.

Perform to their capabilities over the festive period and West Ham could be in the top half come January.

And that will enable Pellegrini to follow Merson’s blueprint for the rest of the campaign as the FA Cup gets underway.

In contrast, slip up and it could force Pellegrini to be more cautious with team selection for the cup.