Declan Rice described the feeling as terrifying after the Premier League draw with Brighton in Brighton by successfully ending hopes for the Londoners Champions League.
The result has left the Hammers in sixth place and needs to close the five-point gap on fourth-placed Chelsea, with two games.
Liverpool also sits point above David Moyes’ side and has the advantage of the game in hand.
“We can’t rely totally on other teams to lose,” West Ham midfielder Rice told Sky Sports.
“And we have to go out and win. We have drawn a lot and lost a few. It’s scary because we were watching the Champions League.”
Had Said Benrahma not scored too late, the visitors’ night on the south coast could have ended with a fourth defeat in five games. With Craig Dawson and Thomas Soucek both leading the way in the past.
And Moyes, who has heard that their top-four ambitions have already disappeared, is now hopeful that his own could resurrect. Them to secure a place in the game of the Europa League.
“We are always trying our best to find out a place in European football if we can. We are in a good position for that. It is a good thing to say that we are shouting good with two games left,” Moyes said.
Danny Welbeck looked set to give the game to the winners, apparently chasing the ball. In the 84th minute, to lift the ball over West Ham goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.
Until Welbeck has had scored his 50th Premier League goal, Alireza Jahanbakhsh was very close. To overcoming obstacles for the match officials, leading the effort in the left-hander with Fabianski, who was far from his line.
The Seagulls, who sit in 17th place, have now lost 25 points in winning titles in the Premier League this season.
Brighton fails to take the next step.
With their place in the division already secured for the next term, Brighton’s victory could see them. Take a big step towards ending their 15th year in the Premier League.
Hitting their best game to finish the 13th game in 1981-82 would also not get out of the question. However, their last two games saw them face Manchester City and Arsenal.
But allowing just 195 seconds after Welbeck’s effort, coupled with their failure. To turn half the chances into goals makes this too small.
Graham Potter’s team played an excellent calm pass in the back. But that seemed to disappear almost as soon as they reached the final third.
The Seagulls failed to put the ball in the net until the 53rd minute when Steven Alzate’s effort came. An impossible goalless draw where Welbeck got better placed to score.
That sparked a host of good times for strangers when Jahanbakhsh. And Alzate failed to make the most of their opportunities.
Hammers’ hopes got dashed.
West Ham has landed on the south coast hoping to revive their Champions League ambitions.
Still, there has been an unexplained decline among the players visiting the final whistle, without much effort from Benrahma’s self-restraint.
One win in their last five Premier League games now looks set to count them to the top four in the top four.
And both Everton and Tottenham will play for their chances of beating Moyes’ side to the Europa League.
While the Hammers welcomed Declan Rice to return to their first XI from March 21, they did not do enough. Against a Brighton team that did not have the suspended Lewis Dunk and Neal Maupay.
Late claims for a fine seem appealing rather than convincing. And the VAR review was well received at Brighton’s charity. After a cross from Jesse Lingard near the area attached to Adam Webster’s arm.
Michail Antonio failed to register a single attempt at the target and sometimes appeared to have no innovation when introduced to the blue wall of home defenders.
Lingard, who has been on loan since arriving from Manchester United, has had a quiet night. And the same can be said of Pablo Fornals and Jarrod Bowen, both struggling to keep the visitors warm.
‘We can improve on both boxes’ – they said
Brighton manager Graham Potter while speaking to BBC Sport: “It’s always a little disappointing if you win 1-0.
And you’re gone for a long time before you go, and you don’t win. First, we were better in the second.
“West Ham has lots of good attacking players, those who can attack in different ways. The challenge Europe for a reason. Our boys hold on to it and do well. It’s a good point in the end.
“You think you can hold on. But we didn’t handle that situation, and they scored goals. That was our mistake this season. We lost a lot of winning positions, and that’s something we have to improve on.”
West Ham manager David Moyes said to Sky Sports: “I’m very much disappointed not to take too much. But if you go down by 1-0 with six minutes left, it’s good to get a draw.
“I thought we played well. At the end of the third, it didn’t work. We brought in Said Benrahma to score goals and assistants. It was good that he got one in the evening.
“I thought Declan Rice did OK. It’s OK for me because I know his level and how good he is.”