Gary O'Neil had plenty of reasons to be happy following Sunday's goalless Barclays Premier League draw at West Bromwich Albion.

Not only did the No32 help West Ham United to collect another valuable point at The Hawthorns, but he also completed a welcome 90 minutes and did so in his preferred position of central midfield.

O'Neil was one of a number of impressive performers in claret and blue, producing a determined and energetic display to help the Hammers to become just the third team to avoid defeat at the Baggies this season.

"I think it's a decent point for us because West Brom have been in good home form," the 29-year-old confirmed. "We had a few chances but so did they, so a point is probably a fair result and come the end of the season I don't think a draw at West Brom will be considered to be a bad result.

"It was hard work. We were obviously down to about 13 senior fit players on Sunday so it was tough because we couldn't make too many changes. A few of the boys who came in hadn't played 90 minutes recently and they had to play the full 90 minutes so it was a good team performance.

"It wasn't pretty and there wasn't much football played but we dug in, created some chances and got the basics right and it's a decent result."

A year after returning from a career-threatening ankle injury, O'Neil looked fitter and stronger than ever at The Hawthorns, making a number of decisive interventions to keep Steve Clarke's fast-flowing side at bay. At the other end, he came within a whisker of curling West Ham to victory when his 50th-minute shot flashed past the angle of post and crossbar.

"Leg fitness has never been too much of an issue for me. I've always been fairly lucky on that note in that I've maintained my fitness. It was nice to be able to play in the middle as well with Nobes and Nobby, which I did a lot last season and is where I prefer to play.

"It's a big blow losing Mo, obviously, because he's been fantastic so to come away and get a point without the likes of him, Andy Carroll and the other lads who are missing was a good result."

Tactically, West Ham set-up to sit deep and attack West Brom on the counter. As a result, Sam Allardyce's team dealt with the Baggies far better than they did with similar passing sides like Swansea City and Wigan Athletic earlier this term.

"We decided that we weren't going to press quite as high up. We thought the midfield would drop off a little bit more than usual and sit closer to the back-four, rather than go hunting the ball farther up the pitch and leave big gaps. I thought it worked quite well as we kept them in front of us most of the time."

When the home side did get past the West Ham midfield, they found centre-backs James Collins and Winston Reid in imperious form - an observation acknowledged by O'Neil.

"Yes, that's the thing about the lads at the back there - if we do drop deep and let teams stick it in the box, they are magnificent at dealing with stuff like that, so it plays to our strengths when they are slinging balls in there."

West Ham will now prepare for their final home fixture of a memorable year. Saturday's visit of Everton marks the last match of 2012 at the Boleyn Ground - a stadium at which West Ham have lost just three of their 22 league matches this year. O'Neil would love nothing more than to finish on a high on home turf.

"The group of fixtures we have come through was tough and playing against the top-four teams has knocked us down the league a little bit, but we have done fantastic and picked up a decent amount of points out of those fixtures.

"They are still tough now - West Brom were in the top-six and Everton were fourth before the weekend, so it's not going to be easy again on Saturday. We need to dig in again and hopefully we can pick up as many points as we can and we'll just keep going because it's a long season."

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