West Ham United skipper Declan Rice and defender Nayef Aguerd were in agreement that their side merited their hard-fought 1-1 draw at Newcastle United on Saturday evening.
The Hammers had to recover from a whirlwind Magpies start, which saw Callum Wilson open the scoring with just three minutes on the clock.
To respond against a side who had not conceded a Premier League goal since early November looked a tall order at that stage, but West Ham did just that and ended the opening period with nine shots on goal to Newcastle’s two.
Importantly, they also had an equaliser thanks to Paquetá’s close-range finish – and the Hammers battled after the break to ensure they would go home with tangible reward.
Captain Rice hailed the importance of the result against the team who came into the weekend third in the table.
“It’s massive,” he said. “As a group of lads, we know how important these games are. We need to be picking up points in every game. Today was vintage West Ham.
"We dug in, ran our socks off and had chances. You’re not always going to dominate the ball but we slowed the game down as much as we could and it’s a good point for us.
“Their goal was schoolboy stuff but we showed our personality. We could have had one or two but a point was a fair result.
"I think the momentum’s starting to come back. The levels are starting to rise again. We’ve got another big game next weekend [at home to Chelsea]. We want to keep the momentum going. If we keep heading in the right direction we’ll be fine."
It was a sentiment shared by Aguerd, who gave a colossal performance at the back, including a wonderful recovery tackle to deny Callum Wilson the chance of a second towards the end.
“Before the game we knew Newcastle at home are very tough to play,” he added. “I’m very proud of the lads. It’s a massive point.
"When they scored the first goal we were very upset. We said at half-time, if we can’t win we can take one point. The reaction from the lads was fantastic.
“[The tackle on Wilson] was a little bit risky but I’m here to defend and help the team. If I don’t tackle him I think he scores."