By Will Butcher

Dimitri Payet has revealed that West Ham are finding it harder to keep hold of possession this term as he identified a main difference with last season’s sparkling campaign.

The Hammers have began the season in dismal fashion, sitting just a point above the Premier League relegation zone with only three wins from 13 league games.

Payet, who was rumoured to be leaving East London throughout the summer, highlighted West Ham’s lack of possession as a key factor in the team’s stuggles.

“We’ve had a little less of the ball than we enjoyed last season,” Payet told West Ham’s official website. “But that’s all part of the challenge at this stage and we need to accept that and we need to keep working hard.

“We are trying to put together a good little run to move ourselves a bit higher up the table into a more comfortable position.”

Payet has failed to replicate the form of last season that saw him nominated among the 30 contenders to win this year’s Ballon d’Or.

From his attacking midfield position, the 29-year-old scored an eye-catching 15 goals in 44 league and cup matches, while turning provider for another 17 West Ham goals.

This season, the former Marseille and Nantes star has scored just four goals in 17 games, as Slaven Bilic fails to orchestrate any kind of consistency at the London Stadium.

The Hammers will be looking to turn their fortunes around on Wednesday night, as they play against Manchester United for the second time in four days in the quarter finals of the EFL Cup.

In other West Ham news, this is the expected side to face Jose Mourinho’s United.