Bilic looking up after Watford win

Slaven Bilic says Wednesday's 3-1 Barclays Premier League victory over Watford was an important one for West Ham United
Slaven Bilic said Wednesday’s 3-1 win over Watford meant West Ham United would continue to look up the Barclays Premier League table, rather than over their shoulders at those behind them.

A deserved victory over the Hornets – secured by Andy Carroll’s volley and two Mark Noble penalties – mean the Hammers remain in sixth position, three points behind Manchester United and four behind fourth-placed Arsenal.

An Adrian penalty save and an eye-catching return to action from Diafra Sakho completed a decent night’s work from West Ham, even if the manager claimed his side should have scored ‘four or five more goals’.

“It was a good win and a good night for us after a few draws and a lot of difficult games when we were unhappy at the end because we think that we deserved more out of them,” said Bilic, whose side made it a Club-record 15 Premier League home games without defeat.

“It’s nice to win at home and we played really good football. We could have scored four or five more goals. It’s a really good feeling for us.

“It was a really important game for us, because we said to that players before that it was like a decisive one. We told them in pre-match that this game would determine whether we would look up and think ‘Maybe we’ve got a chance [of top four] if we win, or if we lose we would look below us’.

“Of course there are still clubs below us and it’s not over but it’s good. We’re looking up and it’s nice to have five points cushion to Southampton or nine points to Stoke. It’s a good position.

“Now we have a break and a rest, then we’ll have some balanced training to be really fit for the last four games in which we’ll give everything we can to win them.”
Every game, you have different individuals who are stepping up and getting the credit, but the credit should go to the team because they were all good
There were many aspects of Wednesday’s game for Bilic to be happy about – Carroll’s volley from Dimitri Payet’s fine pass, Noble’s nerveless penalties, Sakho’s all-round display and Adrian’s late stop to deny Troy Deeney from 12 yards.

“Yes, brilliant, it was a team performance,” he agreed. “Every game, you have different individuals who are stepping up and getting the credit, but the credit should go to the team because they were all good.

“Of course it’s nice to have Sakho back with the work-rate and the quality and everything. It’s good to see the combinations, to see Andy scoring the goal from the beautiful ball from Dimitri.

“They were a great couple of penalties, make no mistake, against a guy who saved a couple of penalties on Saturday. And it was about time Adrian saved one because I was told he was good. I was like ‘Any chance?!’ so it was a good night for us.

“OK, you could say they had half their mind on Wembley [and the FA Cup semi-final] and named a weaker side by resting players, but I’ve seen enough times in football when second options or mixed teams played brilliant football.

“All their players were international players and it was a dangerous game for us, and that’s why I was pleased not only with the three points but the way we got them.”