Jesse Lingard: We dropped off a bit today, but the three points were important

Jesse Lingard says West Ham United cannot afford to fall below their high standards if they are to continue their push at the top end of the Premier League table.

The Hammers defeated Leeds United 2-0 at London Stadium on Monday night, with Lingard's 21st minute goal opening the scoring, but West Ham's No11 felt their performance did not reach the heights they have hit in recent weeks.

Lingard's rebound following a penalty save was added to by Craig Dawson as the home side managed to grind out the result, despite not performing at their best, and the on loan Manchester United man believes that resilience is important, too.

"We needed the three points from an important game, but it was a tough one,"  he said.

"We started slowly and weren't confident on the ball. We got the goals but if we want to push on for top four we need to be better.

"It is about consistency. We dropped off it a bit today but the three points are important. We take each game step by step. We learn from each. It is not going to be easy every game. Leeds gave us a good game today. It is about objectives and taking confidence into the next game."

Jesse Lingard opens the scoring against Leeds United

Leeds had two goals chalked off in the opening stages, before Lingard's surging run into the box which drew a foul from Luke Ayling turned the tide in West Ham's favour.

Lingard was grateful to see Illan Meslier's save from his spot-kick rebound straight to him, and he insists his confidence from the spot won't be dented.

"I like to commit players to have time and space on the ball," he continued, "I like to drive into the box and make things happen. That was the only chance to do that (for the penalty) and it paid off.

"I'd been practicing penalties all week. Dec had a word with me before I took it, and I said to him I wanted to take it, so of course I've got the confidence to take it. Luckily the keeper palmed it straight into my path and I slotted it in."

The second goal came just seven minutes later, as Craig Dawson attacked an Aaron Cresswell corner with zeal, and Lingard was happy his team's hard work from dead ball situations paid off.

"We were working on set pieces during the week," he added. "We knew where our strengths are and their weaknesses, so we wanted to exploit that.

"It was a great cross by Cressy and Daws was there to finish up."