David Moyes says the Hammers are continuing to make progress after Chicharito struck to maintain their seven-match unbeaten run in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with AFC Bournemouth.
West Ham had to rally from a goal behind when Ryan Fraser put the Cherries in front, but their response was immediate and Moyes was happy with what he saw from his team.
The manager described the opening 45 minutes of the contest as the best his team had played on the ball since he took the reins in November, with only the finishing touch missing.
So, with another point chalked up on the board, Moyes was content with the performance as the east Londoners ensured their undefeated record in 2018 continued.
He said: “I think with 15 minutes to go I might have said ‘I’ll take the point’, but prior to that we had some good play. I think in the first half especially we played some really good football and we missed some big chances today. We just missed that clinical cutting edge to show how good that football had been.
“I’m thrilled with how we reacted to their goal. Normally when you lose the first goal in the Premier League it’s very difficult to get back, and I don’t think there’s too much between the teams in this part of the table.
“It keeps the momentum going. We’re nudging along, making progress, the most important thing come the end of the season is not to be in the bottom three, but in the same breath I’ve got my eyes looking up to see if we can make the top ten as well.
“The first thing is making sure the back door is shut and a point today wasn’t the worst result.”
One of Moyes’ substitutes, Chicharito, landed the crucial equalising goal and the manager said his team need to provide the Mexican with more opportunities to show what he can do in the box.
“It’s the kind of reaction that he’s about,” he explained. “We know that’s what he does – he’s the sort of centre forward who has made a living out of being a fox in the box and scoring at every opportunity they get.
“Chicharito needs those sort of opportunities and we need to get more of the ball in the box. There was that one, and we put a great one in just after it across the face of the box, but we needed him today. All the boys here will play a part and Chicharito helped us today.”
It keeps the momentum going. We’re nudging along, making progress, the most important thing come the end of the season is not to be in the bottom three, but in the same breath I’ve got my eyes looking up to see if we can make the top ten as well
One downside was an apparent hamstring injury sustained by Manuel Lanzini in the second half, with Moyes left hoping the problem is not a serious one.
He added: “Manu has a bit of a hamstring, Cresswell’s was just complete cramp and he should be ok. Manu is the problem and we hope it isn’t serious. We’re short on the bench at the moment, we’ve got a lot of injuries, but the boys are doing a great job and some of them had to play 120 minutes in midweek, so great credit to them.
“We could do with a body or two coming in, so we’ll try to do that. We’re working on it and we’ll try to get the right players and people who we think can help us.”