West Ham United midfielder Mark Noble has admitted that he is not surprised by the club's drop out of the top four as they do not "really belong there".
Sam Allardyce's side lingered around the European spots following impressive victories over Liverpool and Manchester City.
However, 27 games in, the London side have dropped to ninth in the standings.
"I think everyone knew, the way we started the season, we couldn't maintain that sort of pace," Noble told the London Evening Standard. "Very rarely does a club creep into that top six that doesn't really belong there.
"The league is sorting itself out now and the teams you expect to be up there, are there. We don't want to drop down any lower than we are at the moment, though."
The Hammers will take on Chelsea on home turf this evening.