Hammers can improve despite 'great' result, admits Moyes
For the second time in four days, David Moyes spoke of his relief at West Ham earning three valuable points against a team languishing at the wrong end of the Premier League table.
A winning goal in the 66th minute by Michail Antonio – his fifth of the season - was enough to overcome West Bromwich Albion at the London Stadium after Matheus Pereira brought Albion level early in the second half. Jarrod Bowen’s goal on the stroke of half time seemed poised to settle the Hammers’ nerves and although, on the balance of play, West Ham deserved the victory, Moyes admitted to a degree of frustration.
However, for all the manager’s concerns, the east Londoners are now sitting in seventh place and remain unbeaten in 2021. If his men can improve in certain aspects, then Moyes will be far more easily pleased as the season progresses.
He said: “I told them 'well done for the result' and 'well done for where you are the points you've got', but I want this to be the start and not the finish. I want us to find ourselves keeping up with the big boys if we can.
“We're in the dressing room and we're all a bit disappointed we didn't do as well as we'd have liked.”
Former West Ham boss Sam Allardyce was hoping for maximum return in an attempt to forge Albion away from their current second bottom status. And after their morale-boosting win over rivals Wolves at the weekend, Moyes acknowledged it was going to take a big effort.
He explained: “It was a really tough game, and you've got to remember West Brom have got some good results - they drew at Anfield and they've just won at Molineux - so let's not kid ourselves how good this result is tonight.
“It's a great result, but I've set standards for the players and I don't think we reached them tonight. We didn't pass the ball well enough at times and our control looked poorer tonight than it has been.
“But then we've just played Burnley and we've just played West Brom, who are two difficult teams to break down. We've had bits of the ball at different times and it's not quite worked for us as we'd have liked, but great credit to the players to have got the points they have got to this point.”
The Hammers are expected to continue their momentum against League One Doncaster Rovers at home in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Saturday. For the supporters, there are, potentially, good times ahead. Moyes is still tempering such optimism with a note of realism.
“Our plans now are to look up,” the Scot added. “I am not going to tell the supporters that I am going to promise them, because I think it's happened here in the past and I'm not going to do that.
“I am going to tell them that we're going to keep at it, driving them forward to get results in every game. We want to improve and give you a really good team, but I can't promise anything.”