Macca dedicates win to supporters

Neil McDonald dedicated West Ham United's 2-0 Barclays Premier League victory at Cardiff City to the Club's loyal travelling supporters.

After two difficult away days at Nottingham Forest and Manchester City, the Claret and Blue Army were rewarded with a deserved and morale-boosting win in South Wales.

West Ham recovered from the early loss of Guy Demel to a head injury - the right-back will be kept in overnight at a Cardiff hospital for observation after being caught on the head by Roger Johnson's elbow - and the second half sending-off of James Tomkins to win through a goal in either half from Carlton Cole and Mark Noble.

With Andy Carroll also making a welcome first appearance of the season as a second-half substitute and creating Noble's added-time clincher, there were plenty of reasons to be positive for the assistant manager, players, manager Sam Allardyce, staff and supporters.

"The players got what they deserved and they showed that they are working very hard to put things right. We had a tough time last week, conceding a lot of goals, but everybody has stayed strong and stuck together. We had a couple of injured players back and we put in a fine, battling performance, and scored two brilliant goals.

"It was just reward for the fans who have supported in the three games in a week. They have turned out in their numbers again and we have sent them home happy and we need to do that more often.

"We needed a little bit of luck. We've been working very hard but we haven't always had the rub of the green. We got a little bit of luck and we've shown we're not going to sit down and get beat again. We played some really good football until Guy Demel got injured, scored a fantastic goal and showed real resilience after we went down to ten men in the second half.

"We battled away but they didn't really cause us problems. The put pressure on us from free-kicks and corners, but in open play we restricted them to shots from long distance. We were quite happy with that.

"Our shape was good and they found it very difficult to break us down. Then, at the end, to go and score the second goal was the icing on the cake."

McDonald said Saturday's win showed the great spirit among the players and staff - and supporters - following a difficult week and will give everyone connected with the Club a boost ahead of next weekend's visit of Newcastle United to the Boleyn Ground.

One player who showed superb character was goalkeeper Adrian, who produced another outstanding display to keep his first clean sheet and enjoy his first league win in English football.

"Adrian's handling was fantastic and he's made another couple of good saves, which is what he's paid to do. He came off with a huge smile on his face because he's kept his first clean sheet in English football, which is great.

"I think the whole squad has galvanised together, probably due to the criticism we've received because we haven't been getting results. We had to stand up and be counted and the team certainly showed they were willing to put their bodies on the line with the way they defended.

"We also showed the quality that we've shown throughout the season, but we were that little bit more clinical this time. We need to do that more often."

McDonald was also naturally delighted to see Carroll back on the pitch after eight months out with a foot injury. The centre forward saw his team reduced to ten men just 60 seconds after coming on as Tomkins was sent-off for two bookable offences, but his strength, movement and quality contributed to a deserved success.

"It's great. We had Andy and Tonks back so the squad is improving and it makes competition for places stronger.

"Andy is a big player for us, as is Tonks, and it's great to have them back. It's great to have Andy back helping the team out, holding the ball up and flicking the ball on, and obviously he has got down the line and made a telling pass for Mark Noble to score the second goal.

"The celebrations are well-deserved because we've had a tough week, but we've come back strong and we've all stuck together. Hopefully the supporters who are travelling back to London will do so happy."

Finally, as Big Sam's No2, McDonald said the victory would also boost his boss.

"It's great for Sam because he's had some stick from all quarters, but in our inner circle we have stayed strong and believed in what we're doing and that's what we'll continue to do."