West Ham manager David Moyes says the board “want to add more players” after his side thrashed Huddersfield 4-1.
The Scot refused to blame the club’s owners for a lack of transfer activity so far in January before the window closes, explaining that it was “just the difficulty of the month”.
Saturday’s win means that Moyes becomes just the fourth manager to win 200 Premier League matches.
And his side have gone five games unbeaten in all competitions, move five points away from the drop zone and overtake Huddersfield in the process.
It was skipper Mark Noble who led the way – pouncing on a lazy pass from goalkeeper Jonas Lossl to put the visitors in front.
Joe Lolley equalised with a superb curling effort before Marko Arnautovic scored within seconds of the restart.
He later assisted Manuel Lanzini twice as the visitors ran away with it in the second half – inflicting just a fourth home defeat for Huddersfield this season.
Manager David Wagner gave league debuts to new signings Terence Kongolo and Alex Pritchard, and said they will “help Huddersfield reach their target” of securing Premier League safety.
“The two signings we made very much made sense,” Wagner said. “I am absolutely happy they are with us.”
The Terriers remain four points off the relegation zone but they have a tough fixture against Stoke at the Bet 365 Stadium to follow before hosting Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool at the end of January.
A prolific pair
Arnautovic was forced to miss the 1-1 draw with Tottenham on 4 January but was straight back into the starting line-up at John Smith’s Stadium.
Moyes knew he needed his best players on the pitch and Arnautovic didn’t let him down – picking up two assists and a goal on his return.
He terrorised Huddersfield’s defence all afternoon and despite not making much impact in the first half, there were signs he would become a danger.
His link-up play with Lanzini was on show in the opening stages as the pair created space for each other out wide and constantly switched positions throughout.
The dynamism and creative flair ultimately opened things up but it was Arnautovic’s determination off the ball that got the early second-half goal to regain his side’s lead.
He then weaved in and out of defenders to create Lanzini’s first before the pair linked up again to make it 4-1 and seal three points.
Arnautovic said his team were “on fire in the second-half” but it was his partnership with Lanzini that earned the three points.
Huddersfield’s fortress collapses
Although the defeat does not cause too much damage to their league position, it was one of the heaviest Huddersfield have suffered this season.
They have lost at home on four occasions in all competitions this term – against Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham who are all competing in the Champions League.
That shows what a good result it was for Moyes’ side but also puts into perspective the success Huddersfield have enjoyed so far this season.
Their performance against West Ham was out of character. They made three key errors which Wagner described as leading to “own goals” as the Hammers unpicked them in the second half.
Lossl’s weak pass to Lolley in the first half kick-started a string of individual errors and although Arnautovic was creative in his own right, he was helped immensely by a poor Huddersfield display.
Moyes in illustrious company
Moyes’ Premier League record is behind Sir Alex Ferguson (528), Arsene Wenger (468) and Harry Redknapp (236) and he said having his name alongside those “great managers” was a “good feeling”.
“I’m just glad I have managed to win a few,” Moyes joked.
Since being appointed West Ham manager, he has turned things around and the Hammers are now creeping their way slowly up the table.
The festive period was a particularly impressive one for Moyes’ side. They have picked up eight points from their past five games, including draws against Tottenham and Bournemouth away from home.
Victory at John Smith’s Stadium has given them some distance above the drop zone but they still have a long way to go before securing safety.
Hammers on the up – the best of the stats
- West Ham have won eight points in their past four Premier League away games (W2 D2 L0), as many as in their previous 15 combined.
- Some 69% of Huddersfield’s home goals conceded in the Premier League this season have been against London clubs (11/16).
- Huddersfield have conceded seven goals in their past two Premier League games, this after conceding six across their previous six.
- Manuel Lanzini scored his first ever brace in the Premier League, on what was his 78th appearance in the competition.
What the managers say
West Ham manager Moyes: “We have a long way to go but the players have done brilliantly well since we came in and they did very well today.
“I’m really pleased with Marko Arnautovic. Everybody knew how good he was at Stoke and maybe giving him a freer role up front has given him a chance to express himself.
“Andy Carroll wasn’t fit. We decided not to bring him to the game today because we have a game on Tuesday.”
Huddersfield head coach Wagner: “It’s not about the position in the table – this is a good one – but our performance was below par, especially individually.
“The first three goals [for West Ham] were more or less like own goals. We are not able to win a football match in the Premier League by doing that. It is too easy and that is why we lost.
“There were things which we cannot do at this level. We made three of those mistakes in one game – hopefully we will make none in the next.”
Man of the match – Marko Arnautovic
Huddersfield travel to Stoke in Saturday’s 15:00 GMT kick-off while West Ham host Shrewsbury Town on Tuesday in their FA Cup third round reply (19:45). Moyes’ side return to league action on Saturday and they’re at home again against Bournemouth (15:00).