Darren Bent admits that he has been left shocked by West Ham’s recent improvements in defence after picking their backline out as a weakness this season.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Tottenham and England striker admits that he was concerned about the quality of defender at the London Stadium, a 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Manchester City on the opening day of the season doing little to quash his doubts.

However, the Hammers have conceded just two goals since their defeat to the reigning Premier League champions, keeping four consecutive clean sheets across all competitions.

Bent admits that he has been taken aback by the impressive performances and results picked up by the Irons, insisting he was not convinced by their defensive line heading into the new campaign.

Asked about the Hammers’ recent good form at the back, Bent told Football Insider: “It’s shocked me, I thought no way, that’s going to be their downfall, at the back. I thought that was where they were going to struggle.

“It seems since the attackers have stepped up to play, the defenders have gone: ‘We can’t let them down, let’s concentrate on our job.’ You’ve got teams where you’re thinking (as a striker): ‘If I score, we might still concede,’ but for them at the minute, it looks like the back four have gone: ‘These lot are doing their job at the other end of the pitch, we need to do ours.’

“They’re defending really, really well so I take my hat off to them.”

West Ham have only conceded to Brighton and Watford since losing to Manchester City, keeping Newport County, Norwich City, Aston Villa and Manchester United at bay in their last four outings.

The Hammers’ next league game sees them take on a Bournemouth side who have scored six goals in their last two matches and have netted in every one of their top-flight clashes so far.

In other West Ham news, Danny Mills has singled out one weak link at the London Stadium in a bold claim about the Hammers’ starting XI.