Moyes pointed to a determination from his team to make amends for the 3-0 defeat to Burnley, and the fan discord that followed, as they united the crowd behind them with an emphatic first half performance. West Ham were 2-0 up after just 17 minutes and never looked like letting go after that.
“In the opening part of the game we were terrific, the players showed how they felt from past events,” Moyes said afterwards. “They made it known to everyone they were pent up and ready to go. I was thrilled with the performance.”
The home crowd were enthusiastic and positive from the start, and Moyes thanked them for getting behind the team. “Before kick-off, the fans showed their support for the club and the team,” he said. “And the players said we’ll show you what we’ll do. Today the supporters were terrific, and the players did everything they could. I hope we can give the supporters more of that, but I can’t guarantee it.”
Meanwhile Mark Hughes bemoaned “catastrophic errors” that gave his team no chance of winning their first game of his management. “It wasn’t what we anticipated in terms of performance, not the level that enables you to win games at this level,” he said. “We conceded three very poor goals from catastrophic errors that have been prevalent for a while here.
“That’s why we’re in this situation unfortunately. We need to do something about it, address it and understand why. We gave them an easy start.”
Hughes said this only underlines how hard his job is going to be from here, with just seven games left. “It’s not going to be easy, I knew that when I took over,” he said. “It was always going to test everyone connected with Southampton.
“Clearly confidence is at a low ebb. And confidence is a big part of allowing players to perform at their maximum. Too many are looking around for inspiration, or a lift of confidence. We can only do that by performing individually and collectively. We just have to be better on Saturday afternoons.”
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