David Moyes says he wants his West Ham United players to continue striving to improve after a 3-0 home win over Sheffield United took them into the Premier League’s top four.
The Hammers bounced back from the disappointment of last Wednesday’s Emirates FA Cup fifth-round defeat at Manchester United and the overturning of an early penalty award against the Blades by VAR official Michael Oliver to score a 12th top-flight victory of the 2020/21 season.
Declan Rice opened the scoring after West Ham were awarded a second penalty for Chris Basham’s foul on Jesse Lingard a few minutes before half-time, before Issa Diop and substitute Ryan Fredericks netted after the break to fire the Irons through the 40-point barrier.
At the other end of the pitch, Diop and Ben Johnson impressed alongside Vladimir Coufal, Craig Dawson and Aaron Cresswell and in front of the superb Łukasz Fabiański, who kept his eighth clean sheet of the Premier League campaign.
Manager Moyes was naturally happy but is still demanding more from his squad.
It was a great, professional job the players have done tonight as Sheffield United played well and have been playing well, so we don’t take anything away from that as we were up against good opponents.
They made some chances as well, but we defended well and we took our chances when we got them.
When you get injuries or suspensions you have to find other ways of solving it and I think, this season, at different times, we’ve had to make one or two changes.
Michail Antonio is really important to us, but I thought Jarrod Bowen played really well tonight up front and supported Jesse Lingard, Manu Lanzini and Said Benrahma at times and caused problems in a different way and thankfully it worked.
It’s a really important three points for us and another really good home win.
One of the most pleasing things is that every player who has come in and started or come off the bench has made a big difference.
Quite often, one of the boys who has come off the bench has won us the game or got us a result back and I’ve got to say Ben Johnson stepped in and Issa Diop came back into the team and did a good job.
We’ve had to juggle things around a little bit, which is the way the season is at the moment as there are quite a few injuries around, so hopefully we’re able to cope with them.
I was thinking to myself ‘Is that us safe now?’ because normally 40 points is safety!
For a long time, I’ve been thinking a lot higher but we can’t get carried away because if we do it might happen.
We’re a team in progress, we’re trying to grow, we’re trying to get good foundations in place so that maybe in the future we can have regular good teams at the top of the league.
So, we’re enjoying it at the moment – why would we not enjoy being in the position we’re in? – and I just want the players to keep improving because I think there is a lot more to come because we can play much better than we played tonight and we’re still striving to get the balance of the team correct, but we’re doing a decent job at the moment.