Sam Allardyce said he was simply 'delighted' to see West Ham United get the first away win of the 2012/13 Barclays Premier League season under their belt with a 2-1 victory at Queens Park Rangers on Monday night.
Big Sam's side were the dominant force for much of the game, and took the spoils courtesy of Matt Jarvis' first goal for the club and Ricardo Vaz Te's maiden goal of the season. The Hammers were driven to victory by the inspired midfield trio of Mark Noble, Momo Diame and Kevin Nolan, who dominated the game for the visitors and ensured that it was east London who ended up with the bragging rights.
"It was a great, great victory for us and our first away in the Barclays Premier League this season," Allardyce said. "We showed great character, great spirit and great belief from the team.
"I'm delighted. Against a lot of the odds we still went ahead and won this game and won it a lot more comfortably than the score suggested. To be honest at 2-0 at half time you'd have thought I'd be satisfied but because of the amount of chances we created in the first half I was disappointed it wasn't three.
"I thought Mark Noble, Kevin Nolan and Momo Diame controlled the game for us. All three were the reason why got so many things going forward. The service that they provide to the wide men was key as it allowed us to create the chances. The goals were two very good finishes as the angles were very acute. We had easier chances than them and missed them."
The night could not have really got off to a better start as Jarvis nodded in Nolan's looping cross from the right from three yards out. It got even better for the Hammers ten minutes before the break, when Vaz Te expertly flicked home a James Tomkins cross with the outside of his foot from an acute angle.
"It was a great start for us and a great piece of football from our team. We were on the front foot and completely dominating the game playing away from home in the Premier League for the first time since we got promoted. People would expect us to sit back but we have shown our ability as an attacking side. We got two exceptionally good goals.
"The difficulty came in the second half when Taarabt scored that wonderful goal. One goal changes the game. If it was 3-0 at half time that one goal wouldn't have mattered at all. They put us under the cosh but we showed our defensive resilience."
Abdel Taarabt had pulled one back for the Hoops with a sensational 30-yard strike just minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute. The goal instantly game the home team and their supporters a lift and some courageous defending and fine goalkeeping from Jussi Jaaskelainen were needed to help keep them at bay.
There was some cause for concern midway through the half when Jaaskelainen accidently caught Winston Reid in the face with his elbow. After spending a few minutes on the floor, the New Zealand international gingerly made his way to his feet to trudge off the pitch to be replaced by James Tomkins. Joey O'Brien was also taken off for George McCartney after tweaking a hamstring.
"QPR have gone out and spent a lot of money. We've come to their place and been the better side. We've had to overcome two injuries in the first half. Unfortunately Jussi knocked out Reid and then Joey felt his hamstring. We didn't look defensively any weaker when George McCartney and James Tomkins came on, which is fantastic for me.
"The defensive unit was brilliant and the attacking unit was first class too, other than one or two finishes that could have been better
"We'll find out how Winston is on Tuesday but he seems OK in the dressing room. The medical team think he might have had a slight concussion but hopefully he will recover in time for Saturday's game with Arsenal."
Vaz Te and Matt Jarvis were also hugely influential as part of an effective counter-attacking unit,causing QPR full-backs Nedum Onuoha and Clint Hill no end of problems. Vaz Te had double reason to celebrate after his goal as it fell on the day he turned 26, with his manager happy to see another step taken towards rediscovering his very best form.
"He's got to feel his way into the Barclays Premier League. He's been there as a young man and injuries took their toll along with a lack of experience. Now he's got all the experience he needs to show the ability that he's got and he certainly showed that.
"The goals will do him and Matt Jarvis the world of good as the more variety we get from different players, the better we become and the more points we will pick up."
Carlton Cole had an impressive game up front but missed a good opportunity on 67 minutes to grab the goal his performance deserved. The West Ham No9 made way for the fit-again Andy Carroll on 72 minutes, and the loan signing quickly set about hassling the home defence, with the Hammers' cause helped by the sending off of QPR substitute Samba Diakite for a second booking.
"We came out and moved the ball quickly and caught them on the break and got better after the sending off.
"Andy could be very important for us alongside Carlton Cole. Modibo Maiga could also be key for us. We kept bringing Maiga on as sub and in the Capital Cup games so we think he is improving. What we needed against QPR was Andy Carroll just for the last 20 minutes when Carlton tired.
"His aim was to hold the ball up and be a target for us so we could stop QPR's pressure and it changed the game back in our favour. The sending off did as well of course. Andy started holding the ball up and we started creating more chances but for some great saves from the goalkeeper we could have won this game by more."