Manager on Monday

Slaven Bilic

Slaven Bilic said Saturday’s performance at Southampton was another example of his team’s character.

Just three days after slumping to a 4-0 home defeat against Manchester City, the Hammers looked up against it again when Manolo Gabbiadini put Southampton a goal up just 12 minutes into the St Mary’s clash.

But goals from Andy Carroll, Pedro Obiang and Mark Noble turned the contest around and ensured Bilic’s team would make it six Premier League wins from their last nine contests.

“Our response [to falling behind] was brilliant,” the boss said. “Of course the equaliser helped, coming so quickly from open play because it showed we could hurt them.

“We have to be very concentrated and continue to play like this – and even better – but we are in a good position, not only with the points, but more with the way we are playing and the way we are training. That gives me hope and joy.”

Saturday was not the first time West Ham have bounced back from a heavy loss swiftly, so the boss was not surprised to see it happen again.

He explained: “The way we’ve bounced back from the heavy defeats we’ve had shows the character of the team. Make no mistake, the defeat against Manchester City, especially at home, hurt. It hurt us big time – we made mistakes for their first and third goals but you have to give credit to Manchester City because they had a good day.

“I told the guys, don’t let that affect our confidence because before that we won five out of seven.

“That’s why the win against Southampton was more than three points, because of the way we did it. It was fantastic.”

Saturday’s victory was another without Dimitri Payet – the third in the four games since the Frenchman played his last match for the Club – and Bilic is impressed with how his team have moved on.

“It is the team who have responded to that,” he added. “We lost a great player, but these things happen in football. The team have reacted in the best possible way.

“The boys have shown in those difficult situations that we aren’t going to sink, we’re not going to crumble. We had to take more responsibility as an individual and as a team, and that’s happened.”