By Matt Farr

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic insists their dramatic turnaround in form is down to belief.

The Hammers thrashed Swansea 4-1 at the Liberty Stadium, which moved them up to 11th in the Premier League, a remarkable change of fortune in a below-par campaign.

Bilic’s side began the month of December in 17th in the Premier League, only narrowly above the relegation zone, and after a 5-1 drubbing at the hands of Arsenal, alarm bells were ringing.

However, West Ham are unbeaten in their four games since, and have won their last three games on the bounce – all against their relegation rivals.

The victories have restored order to the club’s season, and they are now within touching distance of the top-half of the table and eight points clear of the drop.

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Bilic has praised the players following their latest victory, insisting his side always had the belief they would turn their season around.

He told the club’s official website: “The key was that we never stopped believing… and when we had those five really difficult games, we were talking about those two home games to get out of the cramp, as I called it.

“The two wins against Burnley and Hull were hard but they put us in a position where we could breathe a bit more and that was basically the key.

“Even when we were there, we were always saying we were only three or four points from mid-table and that is still the case because it was tight and it is tight.

“Of course we are going to be positive but the Premier League gives you no time to relax. However, this is a real opportunity for us to build our confidence even more.”

As for Bilic, he is repaying the faith shown in him by the West Ham board. The Croatian boss held talks with the Hammers board following the Arsenal defeat, but was given the backing of his superiors.

The Hammers can make it four wins from four when they take on a struggling Leicester side on Saturday.

In other West Ham news, the Hammers are eyeing a swoop for this Premier League veteran next month.