Yossi Benayoun made a winning return to the starting line-up for West Ham United on Saturday in the 4-1 victory over Southampton.

The Israel international had been a regular fixture on the substitutes bench since returning for his second spell at the club on loan from Chelsea in late August and had to be patient for his chance to start a match.

The call came against the Saints and, after speaking of his delight in helping the team to a fourth Barclays Premier League win of the season, Benayoun said the aim is to keep the run of positive results going at Wigan Athletic on Saturday.

"We have had a great start in terms of it being solid and picking up points where we can," the 32-year-old told West Ham TV. "It is important for a team like us. We have just been promoted so to pick up points against the teams that are around us and below us is the key.

"When you meet the clubs that are higher than you in the table anything else is a bonus, so to have points from the games we have played is good. We are in good form and have to keep going."

For Benayoun, it was a case of just being patient when it came to his own opportunities to impress. After cameo appearances against Norwich City and Sunderland, the former Liverpool and Arsenal man was given an chance from the kick-off against Southampton. He made the most of it, providing a superb assist for Kevin Nolan to put West Ham two goals up three minutes after half-time.

"It is always a little difficult when you come to a new club when you haven't had pre-season with them and it was a few games into the season when I arrived.

"The team were playing well. We have had a good start so I had to be patient and wait for the opportunity. I have worked hard in training and always try to push myself as much as I can to be ready for the call.

"Against Southampton, that was my first 90 minutes for a long time but we won and it was a good team effort. I felt it a bit when I came off but that is because I haven't played a full game for a long time."

Benayoun is confident that Hammers can take their current form forward as the season goes on, pointing to the mixture of players available to manager Sam Allardyce as being a positive attribute.

"I think we have a very good team that is strong. We have a good balance. This is important when you are in the Premier League.

"We have to try and continue in the same form as much as we can. We have had a good run against the teams around and below us. We go to Wigan next week and, while it is a tough ground to play at, we have to look to grab something again from this game."

Benayoun may not have played quite as much as he would have liked since returning to east London, but he is content to be plying his trade in friendly surroundings, having made many friends at the club during his previous spell between 2005 and 2007.

"It is very good. There are a lot of people still here from my first time at West Ham, so it is nice and I am very happy to be here. My initial loan is until January at the moment. So I am looking to play as much as I can and enjoy it and then look to see what can happen then."

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