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Downing hails West Ham revival

28 February 2014 12:49

Stewart Downing believes that West Ham's Premier League revival can be put down to the return of key personnel to the first-team squad.

Sam Allardyce's men have won four straight league games to move into the top half of the table and alleviate relegation fears at Upton Park.

West Ham have been plagued by injuries this term, with striker Andy Carroll the most notable absentee for the majority of the campaign due to a heel injury.

Following his return to fitness, the England international has since missed the last three matches due to a controversial red card against Swansea City, while captain Kevin Nolan also sat out four matches earlier in season after being sent off in a 2-1 defeat at Fulham on New Year's Day.

However, with key players now back in action, winger Downing - who himself spent time on the sidelines with a leg injury - is confident that the club can continue making progress, starting with Saturday's visit to face Everton at Goodison Park.

"It's very enjoyable at the club at the moment," Downing told the club's official website. "Everyone is back now from injury and suspension and that's what we've been waiting for.

"We've had a bit of luck along the way but I think we were due some. I'm happy personally because things are going quite well.

"The manager is obviously happy because the team is winning. The last couple of weeks it's all come together.

"We're not out of the woods yet because we've still got games to win, starting at Everton at the weekend."

Downing is anticipating a difficult match against an Everton side who have lost three of their last four Premier League matches, and he highlighted England international full-back Leighton Baines as a particular threat.

"Everton is always a difficult place to go, even when they're not playing that well," he added. "The crowd are really on top of you.

"Roberto Martinez is doing a good job there and his team is playing really well using a different way of playing to how Everton have (previously) played.

"I think Bainesy (Leighton Baines) has probably gone up a level the last couple of years, even though he was always a good player. In terms of creating and scoring goals, I think he has been one of the top players, so it'll be a good test."

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
10 35 -10 44
11 35 -13 43
12 35 -10 37
13 35 -4 36
14 34 -9 36

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