David Moyes was a happy man yet again as West Ham United continued their perfect UEFA Europa League group-stage debut with a 3-0 home win over KRC Genk.
The Hammers were ultimately good value for their victory after a few moments of concern in the first half, scoring on the stroke of half-time through Craig Dawson’s header before making the points safe with a quickfire second-half double from Issa Diop and Jarrod Bowen.
Genk had a Theo Bongonda goal disallowed for offside and saw a Paul Onuachu header drop narrowly wide with the game goalless, and the Irons ruthlessly punished their opponents thereafter.
Despite making six changes to the team which won 1-0 at Everton in the Premier League on Sunday and resting Michail Antonio entirely, Moyes could take pride in the way his players took care of business to make it three wins out of three in Group H – and eight out of 12 in all competitions this season.
With nine points, West Ham need four from their final three games – away to Genk in a fortnight’s time, away to Rapid Vienna in Austria and home to Croatians Dinamo Zagreb – to finish top and secure direct passage to the round of 16.
For manager Moyes, that would be a fitting reward for the effort he, his staff and his players have put in, but he does not want to stop there…
I really enjoyed watching the game and watching the players play.
We played tonight without Mick as our centre-forward, but Jarrod is making a really good job of it and showing us exactly what he can do and he could maybe have had more than the one goal he had tonight.
Overall, though, I’m thrilled with the performance and with the result because it’s another win in Europe for us and we’re doing a good job and the players know they’re doing a good job.
We’re trying to make sure that everybody got a game and I’ve got to say that all the players have done really well.
I think the players are enjoying the Europa League games.
We’re going into the games and we’re not trying to sit back. We’re not trying to play someone like we would in the Premier League, but because we don’t know the players and the competition, really, and how the referees are going to react, it’s making it all new for us.
It’s just something I think the players have embraced.
We’ve got players who have got big experience in Europe – the Czech boys and Yarmolenko have played in European competition before, so it’s no shock to them – but as a new team as we are, it’s still relatively new to us.
We have to go to Genk and we have to go to Vienna, so we’re certainly not going to take anything for granted, but to have nine points after three games is great for us.
As I’ve said before, we want to make sure we’ve got European football after Christmas if we can do, but it would be even better if we could win the group because we know it gets us one round further on.
I’m delighted with the position we’re in and long may it continue.
We hadn’t scored many goals from set pieces before the last game, so thank goodness we’re back on track with those.
Jarrod has done well for us when he’s played up front. He plays with a bit of freedom and he enjoys it. He’s got great energy and he likes to cover the ground and run for us.
It’s not like he’s not done it before. He’s done it at Hull City before he came here, but I just think he’s a good all-round player, Jarrod, and he works hard for the team.
We’re pleased to have given Dan Chesters his debut tonight, because sometimes it’s difficult to give young players their games.
Dan has scored a few goals when he’s come and joined us in training and he’s done OK.
He showed his commitment a couple of times when he had to chase back and win things back for the team, so I think when you’ve got that, you’ve got half a chance, because you’ve got to show you will work for the team and he’s done that on a couple of occasions.