Mourinho backs Hammers to climb the table

West Ham United's brave performance at Stamford Bridge on Saturday brought much praise from Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho.

After watching his side scrape a narrow 1-0 victory thanks to a 22nd-minute free-kick from Geremi, the Portuguese boss admitted that he felt "emotions of danger" in the last 10 minutes as Hammers searched desperately for an equaliser, and claimed that Alan Pardew's men will soon climb the Premiership table if they continue the same level of form.

"We had chances to score more goals and kill the game, but we didn't," said Mourinho. "Instead, in the last 10 minutes, it got tricky for us.

"Alan Pardew made changes in that time. He was doing his job well, putting on yet more attacking players for those who already had tried hard in the game. Players who are dangerous, who have an eye for goal. These boys, Sheringham and Harewood, who came on - we know what they can do.

"So there was a lot of emotion, danger and tension. I said to my assistant Steve Clarke, 'look, we haven't taken our other chances, they (West Ham) are creating pressure and now we could be in trouble'. But that's football, I think we deserved the three points, but West Ham, they deserve praise.

He added: "Both teams played with a good attitude and West Ham came here to try and win the match, they didn't play just for a point. From the beginning, they played an open game and gave us problems with the possession they had."

And Mourhino also insisted that Pardew's men can look forward with confidence, despite not being able to get the result that their performance deserved.

He said: "For us it was a satisfactory performance because we beat a good side. I see the quality of West Ham, their manager and players and I don't think they deserve to be in the position they are.

"They deserved to leave our stadium with self-belief for their future because, for me, they are a very good team."

by Laura Burkin