Andy Carroll may have taken most of the plaudits after scoring the winning goal against Swansea City on Saturday, but there was another element of the Hammers' play which gave manager Sam Allardyce immense satisfaction too.

The home defence protected Jussi Jaaskelainen's goal with such efficiency that the home keeper was relatively untroubled until a late rally from the in-form Swans.

West Ham were the more dynamic team throughout the Boleyn Ground contest and their ability to cause the visitors a headache in attack owed much to their solidity in nullifying the Welsh side's possession.

Joey O'Brien performed admirably at right back following a spell in the opposite full back position and the Republic of Ireland international was delighted to keep a first clean sheet in ten attempts.

"We haven't been on it defensively lately," he told West Ham TV exclusively. "At the start of the season we were doing some good stuff at the back, but we had gone off the boil and were giving easy goals away.

"So it was great to get back with a clean sheet against Swansea. That's the first thing you have to get right - the manager said that just before the game, make sure we come in with a clean sheet.

"That's what we wanted and we got the result, which was massive for us.

"It was grand at right back. I've played there quite a lot, and although I've been at left back too it's not that big a deal for me to go to the other side. People see me as a right footer so in some ways it's an easier position for me."

The three point haul ended a seven-game search for victory by the Hammers and lifted Allardyce's men back up to eleventh in the Barclays Premier League table.

O'Brien felt the result was all-important and the fact that it came as the product of a fine performance was the icing on the cake.

He added: "It was a massive win. The last few results have been disappointing - and in the previous home game against QPR we did everything but get the winning goal - so it was great to get back on track with three points against Swansea.

"The result was all that mattered. The performances this season have been really good, but at this stage that doesn't really matter, it's all about the three points.

"That said, I thought we played really well on Saturday and had plenty of chances so it was great when Andy scored. He's been out for a while so I was delighted that he got on the scoresheet.

"We've got Villa away next week and we'll be looking to go there and win after this result. If we get another three points on the board next week we'll be in a good position."

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