David Moyes was happy enough to see his West Ham United handle the challenge of a determined Shrewsbury Town to reach the Emirates FA Cup fourth round.
The Hammers were pushed all the way by the League One high-fliers for a second tie in succession, but won through 1-0 thanks to an extra-time winner from Academy of Football graduate Reece Burke.
The 21-year-old was on hand to settle the third-round replay eight minutes from penalties, slamming the ball high into the Shrewsbury net to set up a trip to either AFC Bournemouth or Wigan Athletic.
I am really pleased to go through. It was never going to be easy.
“It’s great, because we didn’t look as if we would score in a month of Sundays!” the manager said. “We could have probably played all night, as we had a few chances and a few attempts, but it wouldn’t go in.
“Somebody was going to have to come up with something and Reece has struck it really sweetly, so I’m pleased. He’s been on loan at Bolton with Josh Cullen and both of them have done really well for us, so I’m thrilled for them, coming back and getting games in the first team as well.
“I’ve got to say Shrewsbury hardly had a chance all night, so it was just a matter if we could break them down or not. Even if it takes extra-time, the job is to win and I’m thrilled as we’re through. We’ll pick up whoever comes next, whether it be Bournemouth or Wigan, and we’ll try and get through that one as well.”
Moyes was without the services a host of senior players absent through injury, but a combination of promising youngsters, experienced professionals and reinforcements from the bench saw his team progress.
“I am really pleased to go through. It was never going to be easy. We’ve got to really focus on the Premier League games and coming into the cup, it’s a bit difficult, but hopefully the further we go through the easier it will get and we’ll have more players available as the rounds go on.
“We definitely wanted to progress. I’ve always said I wanted to go through, but we had so many injuries and people unavailable for the game, which made it really difficult for us to put out a real strong team.
“Obviously we’ve got other things on our minds and we have to think about the players for some other big games.”
Moyes’ attentions now to turn to Saturday’s Premier League visit of Bournemouth to London Stadium but, before then, he had words of praise for the valiant League One side, who restricted his team to just six shots on target across 210 minutes of competitive FA Cup football.
“I think Shrewsbury have done really well. They played well up at Shrewsbury and again they came here and put on a good show, defended well and were hard to beat.
“They look as if they have a good chance of promotion if they continue that form.”
*Highlights of Tuesday’s win are available to view on whufc.com from 12noon on Wednesday 16 January.