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Gus Poyet expects West Ham to provide the toughest examination to date of our new era under the leadership of Juande Ramos.

Gus Poyet expects West Ham to provide the toughest examination to date of our new era under the leadership of Juande Ramos.

First team coach Gus has been pleased with the start under the new coaching regime as we're unbeaten in four games including progress in the Carling Cup, an important win in the UEFA Cup and stepping up a few places in the league after a fine win against Wigan last time out.

However, Gus sees this as a step up against a West Ham side currently 10th in the Premier League.

"If you look at the individual names, West Ham have a very, very good squad," said Gus. "Sometimes if you don't start well or you lose a couple of key players, it's difficult to keep a run going, but they are doing well and I think they will do better.

"Players have recovered fitness during the international break - we don't know if they will play on Sunday, but they will add further quality to the squad.

"It's a good test for us, a big derby and it's an ideal game to see how far we've come.

"The first game for us against Blackpool was important because we wanted to win and it was a cup game. After that, we wanted to make sure we got something from Middlesbrough then a must-win game in the UEFA Cup against Hapoel Tel Aviv. Wigan was then a good performance at home.

"It's the right time to see where we are, to see if we can perform at a higher level and if we can do well in big games. I'm excited waiting for the game on Sunday.

"We're going there to win, no other option. We'll have to wait to see how the game develops but before the game, we only want to win it."

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