Three points, a clean-sheet against Norwich City, and a return to the Premier League top four added up to a perfect evening for Aaron Cresswell on his West Ham United comeback.
Cresswell featured in his first match since the end of November against the Canaries on Wednesday, having recovered from a back injury suffered colliding with the goalpost at Manchester City, helping his side to secure a deserved 2-0 victory to return to the Premier League's top four.
“It’s amazing to be back,” the full-back told West Ham TV. “To miss the whole of December, which is the busiest period of the entire season, I was a little bit disappointed in the way that a small injury did that.
“But it’s great to be back and to get a clean-sheet and three points, you can’t ask for much more.
“It was obviously a massive result that we needed to keep us in there, up high in the league. I thought we played some really good stuff at times against Norwich.
“It was a little bit sloppy in spells in the first half, but I thought we were fully in control of the game and, on another night, could have scored four or maybe five.”
It's great to be back and to get a clean-sheet and three points, you can't ask for much more
While it is hard to argue that the Irons dominated the game, a gritty Norwich City ensured it was not an easy evening at London Stadium for the home side, forcing the Hammers to wait until the 84 minute for Bowen’s second finish.
Cresswell highlighted the importance of ensuring Norwich had minimal opportunities to get back in the game, while also praising the recent form of goal-scorer Bowen.
He continued: “We knew, at 1-0 up, that it’s always that difficult scoreline where although they didn’t really create much, you don’t want to give them any sort of chance to get back into the game.
“I think the second goal kills it and I think Jarrod tonight carried on the form he’s been in. He’s been unbelievable. You look at his numbers, his goals and his assists, and he’s been unbelievable. I think he should have had three or four goals.”
Cresswell’s return from injury helps to ease pressure on the West Ham defence, following a period in which the left-back, Kurt Zouma and Angelo Ogbonna have all been unavailable.
The 32-year-old noted the efforts of Craig Dawson and Issa Diop in keeping Norwich at bay on Wednesday and praised the quality in the West Ham squad overall.
“The Gaffer has just mentioned it to us. It’s not just the eleven lads that play. It’s the whole squad; the lads that come on. Even such as Arthur [Masuaku] coming on, I thought he was fantastic in setting up the second goal.
“It’s a squad game and the lads who have come in have really helped the side. That’s all we could ask for.”
Having watched on from the sidelines as West Ham defeated Leeds United in the FA Cup third round on Sunday, Cresswell is eager to continue his comeback from injury against the Whites this weekend in league action.
“Leeds are always a difficult team to play against,” Cresswell added. “It’s always very high intensity and I thought the lads did well against them on Sunday in the FA Cup, so there’s no reason we can’t repeat that.
“We’re looking forward to the game.”