Manuel Pellegrini hailed the clinical performance his West Ham United side produced in Saturday’s 2-0 Premier League victory at Fulham.
The Hammers made it four top-flight wins in a row for the first time since February 2014 with a ruthlessly professional display at a bitterly cold and wet Craven Cottage.
Lukasz Fabianski denied Aboubakar Kamara with twice with fine saves either side of Robert Snodgrass’s outstanding opener before Michail Antonio made it two goals from two shots on target with a controlled left-foot finish.
Fulham had more possession and more opportunities to score than their opponents, but it was the men in Claret and Blue who were singing in the rain come full-time, having secured a win that took them up to ninth in the table.
Really, we must go game-by-game to try to improve what we are doing. It’s not easy to change so many things but I think the team is in the correct way
“We said before the game that we wouldn’t have an easy game here tonight against Fulham,” Pellegrini observed. “I think it was a good performance because, while we didn’t create too many chances, the chances we did create, we scored. In a lot of games before, we had a lot of chances but we didn’t do that.
“I think we defended very well in the second half. In the first half we had some problems with some of Fulham’s movements, but in the second half we defended well and kept our clean sheet."
West Ham have now not only won four Premier League games in succession, but they have lost just three out of their last 13 and have closed to within two points of sixth-placed Manchester United.
European qualification is most certainly a target of Pellegrini, who achieved that with all four previous clubs he has managed on this side of the Atlantic Ocean.
“We are trying to reach the top level,” the Chilean continued. “Of course, it is not easy because we are just recovering from the bad start we had to the season, but at this moment we are just two points behind sixth position.
“Really, we must go game-by-game to try to improve what we are doing. It’s not easy to change so many things but I think the team is in the correct way.”
West Ham have a week to prepare for the visit of Watford, who sit below the Irons on goal difference, to London Stadium next Saturday.
Pellegrini will hope to welcome Lucas Perez back from injury in that game, while a host of other senior stars are edging closer to welcome returns, further pleasing the manager.
“I always say that for me it is very easy when everyone is available,” he smiled. “It is very difficult when you have eight players less for each game, as you must be forced to maybe use the same players in too many games. But I hope they will recover as well as they can because we need them.”