Anton: Team ethic was key to victory

The atmosphere was understandably buoyant at our Chadwell Heath training ground on Thursday morning, and Anton Ferdinand was certainly happy to reflect on the previous night's victory at London rivals Arsenal.

The Hammers defender produced another faultless performance at the heart of the defence, against one of the most lethal attacks in English football, and admitted that the smiles were still wide some 12 hours after leaving Highbury with all three points.

"We're all still on a bit of a high after last night, it was a great performance by the boys and another deserved three points," said Anton.

"We didn't have too many chances during the game, but we took the ones we created, and everyone worked hard to hold on for the win.

"We defended well as team - the work-rate up front was second to none and the midfield and defence put a tremendous effort in. We know that if we all work hard in every area of the pitch, teams will find it hard to beat us."

Perhaps one of the most satisfying features of the night was our response to the Gunners' first goal on the stroke of half-time, when even the most optimistic of Hammers fan would have expected a siege upon Shaka Hislop's goal after the break.

Instead, Alan Pardew's men appeared with renewed belief and stood firm to restrict the hosts to half-chances before grabbing a crucial third goal on the break, and Anton insisted the display was a sign of the progress made at Upton Park this season.

"A lot of teams would have crumbled in that situation, but we held firm in the second half and that proved how far we have come," he said.

"To have beaten one of the top teams in Europe on their home ground is a fantastic achievement and the boys possess a lot of belief now.

"February is going to be a crucial month for us, but we will just take each game as it comes and we'll see at the end of the season how far it has taken us."