Sir Geoff Hurst is beginning to see the London Stadium as West Ham’s true home three years on from their arrival.
But the club icon insists Hammers fans will only really accept the change and forget Upton Park once consistency is achieved.
While West Ham have progressed under Manuel Pellegrini in the last 12 months since two relegation-threatened seasons to kick off with in Stratford, there is still work to be done.
The start to their fourth campaign at the London Stadium was one to forget as Manchester City ran riot winning 5-0 on the opening weekend.
Safety is no longer the sole aim at West Ham, though, who are expected to bounce back from their first game drubbing from Pep Guardiola’s champions.
Breaking into the European places is the goal following the arrival of £45m goalscorer Sebatsien Haller and Spanish playmaker Pablo Fornals.
To bridge the gap from mid-table mediocrity to European contenders, though, West Ham need to make the London Stadium a fortress.
Fans have continued to turn up in their droves, regularly selling out the 60,000-seater arena.
And asked whether the London Stadium is turning into West Ham’s true home now, Hurst exclusively told Starsport: “Yes it is. There’s been a lot of hiccups the last three years, the way the move has been conducted.
“I spoke to a few West Ham fans from time time who weren’t happy with the ticket allocation and seats and all that stuff that was going on, so there was a lot of unrest.
“And of course on top of that it’s not quite been the stadium as the team’s struggled a bit.
“If we can get results and impress and improve this year, then I don’t think people will be complaining too much about the stadium.”
Hurst, who confirmed he gets down for two games a season at West Ham’s new home, added: “It’s fantastic when there’s 60,000 people there.
“The big issue from the start was we wouldn’t be able to fill the stadium as there was 35,000 people at Upton Park, and we’re filling it.
“So I think it’s more the quality of the football and consistency that’ll keep the fans happy.
“I think at lot of the aggravation when we were losing the odd game at home was connected to the fact the move itself wasn’t handled particularly well.
“Once we start losing at home, the fans began to voice their criticism over the way the move was handled.
“But I think we’ve overcome that now, so I’m hopeful it will settle down, we’ll have a good season, and I’m very hopeful we’re pushing on under Pellegrini.
“We signed Fornals, we should be knocking on the door for the seventh/eighth/ninth position, and that would be a major step forward.
“Unless you’re going to spend £150m on two players, we aren’t going to get top six.”
Sir Geoff Hurst was in Earls Barton to surprise Groundsman Tony Sanders, winner of a McDonald’s Grassroots Football Award. McDonald’s is committed to celebrating grassroots heroes around the country mcdonalds.co.uk/football
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