London - West Ham United should not be considered as part of the "big guns" of the Premier League despite their stellar start to the season, manager Slaven Bilic has said.
The Hammers find themselves third in the league table after picking up 13 points from seven games, including high-profile away wins against Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City.
But West Ham's home form has been inconsistent with defeats to Leicester City and promoted side Bournemouth.
They have found the back of the net 15 times in the league and are the joint-leading goalscorers along with Leicester.
"We would love to be big guns, but let's be fair - nobody said we are big guns before the season started," Bilic, who took over at Upton Park in the summer, told the club's website (www.whufc.com).
"Because of the away wins, they are putting us there, but we are not the big guns. No, we have some really great players, but we have to work our socks off every single game," said the former Croatia manager added.
Bilic said the league has become more competitive as the quality of the "smaller clubs" has gone up due to the increased financial strength of English football.
"(Jose) Mourinho said it best - it is not a new world order, but this kind of money, the financial injection to smaller clubs in the Premier League has raised the quality of the teams. Every team has it now," Bilic said.
"Before, in the Premier League, all the teams had energy. Now you have quality, now it's difficult for the big guns. Every team is good enough," he added.