David Moyes admitted results are more important than performances for West Ham after a nervy 1-0 Premier League win over Southampton lifted them out of the relegation zone.
Results on Saturday had conspired to leave the Hammers second-from-bottom, but Nayef Aguerd’s first-half header rocketed them to the heady heights of 14th.
‘Must-win’ games have been a regular occurrence for Moyes this season, but just as they had done against Everton and Nottingham Forest recently, his team pulled out a victory when they needed it most.
It was far from pretty, but after an opening 25 minutes bordering on the torturous, Aguerd nodded in Thilo Kehrer’s free-kick which proved to be the winner.
“I’m really pleased about the result. We did what we had to do,” said Moyes.
“We have played better than that and not won this season, but today was all about the result. We’ve had it before this season and the players have dealt with it.”
With Leicester the latest club in a congested relegation battle to swing the axe – the news of Brendan Rodgers’ departure filtered through during this match – only Moyes and Steve Cooper at Forest of the clubs in the bottom half of the table have kept their jobs this season.
“Look, I’m in a results business, I have to get results,” added Moyes. “There’s no protection to stop me losing my job.
“I’m really disappointed for Brendan, he’s a super manager. I don’t think he’ll be out of work for long.
“In the life of a football manager there will be parts of your career where you’re not doing so well.
“I can understand the panic, I think expectation can be greater at some clubs. I’m fortunate with the owners I’ve got here.”
Aguerd’s goal was the subject of an agonising VAR check for offside and Hammers winger Jarrod Bowen clipped the crossbar in first-half stoppage-time.
But Southampton were unlucky not to snatch a point late on when substitute Paul Onuachu was also denied by the woodwork.
However, they remain bottom of the table and are three points from safety.
Ruben Selles, their third manager of the season, said: “It’s always frustrating to concede a goal, especially from set plays.
“I think we had control of the game until then. The goal and then VAR decision, sometimes it goes for you and sometimes it doesn’t.
“We had a couple of chances at the end but it was hard to fight back.”