Footy Extras

“We deserved to win” – Manager react to The Hammers impressive victory over Crystal Palace

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic was full of praise after a much-improved defensive performance guided the Hammers to a first Premier League win since their second game of the season.

The only goal of the game was scored by Manuel Lanzini after twenty minutes, when he latched onto an Aaron Cresswell cross to convert smartly.

“We deserved to win,” said Bilic proudly to BT Sport. “We showed everything; we showed character, we showed spirit, we showed quality with the ball.

“We tried to find the best system for us that suits all the players, suits our best players. It’s very difficult to play that system without Cresswell or Masouaku.”

Cresswell had only just come back from injury to face Palace, but was lively and supplied a wonderful ball across for Lanzini to score from.

“We made a gamble with him. We didn’t expect him to be match-fit, but he had a great game and he gave us that opportunity with that system.”

West Ham were certainly in need of self-belief after successive 4-2 losses were followed by a 3-0 loss to Southampton and only a 1-1 draw at home to Middlesbrough.

“You can talk all you want about confidence but there is nothing better for confidence than a goal. We scored that goal and then we coped really well and could have scored a second as well.”

There was a moment of controversy when Cresswell was sent off extremely harshly for two yellow cards; firstly for an alleged dive in search of a penalty, then for a foul on Wilfried Zaha.

“No hard feelings, because we won the game. For me it was a penalty for us, on Cresswell, and the second yellow card for me is very, very harsh.”