David Moyes said he wants to take West Ham to the next level after they beat West Brom to move within two points of a Champions League place.
Goals from Jarrod Bowen and Michail Antonio secured a 2-1 win on Tuesday.
The victory moved West Ham on to 32 points after 19 games - their highest points tally at the halfway stage of a Premier League season.
“We’re showing some growth in how we play and what we do,” said Moyes.
“I’d like to dream a lot but we’re very humble and understand we’re West Ham, we’re not going to start shouting things too soon because history has shown we haven’t always backed it up and I want to be the one to back it up.
“We’re going step by step and making good progress picking up points. I want us to be competing at the top end and to do that we have to keep winning.”
West Ham took the lead on the stroke of half-time when Bowen chested in Vladimir Coufal’s cross.
The visitors levelled soon after the restart through Matheus Pereira’s thunderous drive from distance.
Dara O’Shea then blocked Manuel Lanzini’s goalbound shot but Antonio gave West Ham the win with a hooked finish.
From then on, West Ham looked comfortable without threatening to add to their lead as they claimed a third Premier League win in a row.
Defeat for West Brom, meanwhile, leaves them 19th, five points from safety.
Antonio underlines importance to West Ham
Antonio has endured an injury-hit campaign and his start against Burnley at the weekend was his first since November.
But the striker made up for lost time by getting the decisive goal in that game and, despite concerns over how he would cope with starting a second game in three days, he was once again the match-winner against the Baggies.
Antonio is a deadly finisher inside the box, with all 41 of his Premier League goals having been scored inside the penalty area and he is integral to how Moyes wants his West Ham side to play.
They have become a defensively more solid side under the Scot - with West Brom’s goal the first the Hammers have conceded in their past five games in all competitions - but they are also winning games by narrow margins, underlining the need for a player of Antonio’s quality.
Moyes is looking to sign a striker in the January transfer window but keeping Antonio injury free for the remainder of the season will arguably be more important to West Ham’s ambitions.
“We are looking to get him to get back to his level of fitness but he is certainly back to his level of goals because he is nearly a goal a game since he came back,” Moyes added.
Another defeat, but some hope for Baggies
West Brom boss Sam Allardyce has forged a reputation for leading seemingly doomed teams away from relegation trouble but when he took over at the Baggies on 16 December, it looked like this would be a task too far.
They had won just one of their first 13 matches before Allardyce’s arrival and lost three of his first four games in charge, conceding 13 goals and scoring just one in the process.
But a hugely impressive 3-2 victory at Wolves on Saturday has given Baggies fans hope that fortunes are starting to turn and although this game ended in defeat, there were signs of encouragement.
In a match of few chances for either side West Brom often looked a threat on the counter and could have snatched a point with more composure from Darnell Furlong, who flashed a volley wide in injury time.
Allardyce said: “Great response in the second half - we got our goal but you have to expect in the Premier League that the home team will put a bit of pressure on you and that pressure did come.
“So even though we did fight back and created a chance or two, ultimately we lost the game because their final-third play was better than ours.”
A first since Fenton - the stats
- West Ham have won each of their opening four matches of a calendar year for just the second time in their history, last managing to do so in 1958 under Ted Fenton, a run in which they also beat Stockport County in an FA Cup encounter.
- West Brom have now lost 12 of their 19 league games this season; indeed, seven of the past nine sides to have lost at least 12 matches at the halfway stage of a 38-game Premier League season have gone on to be relegated (except Swansea in 2016-17 and Burnley in 2018-19).
- This match between West Ham boss David Moyes (564) and West Brom manager Sam Allardyce (518) was the 1,082nd Premier League game combined between the two men, the most number of matches between two bosses facing off since April 2018, when Manchester United beat Arsenal (Jose Mourinho (285) versus Arsene Wenger (825).
- After 11 matches without a goal in all competitions, Matheus Pereira has since netted in each of his past three appearances for West Brom (four goals), as many as he scored across his previous 37 games.
- Before taking the West Ham job in 2011, Allardyce had only lost two of his 14 matches against the Hammers. However, since leaving the club in 2015, the now-West Brom boss has suffered defeats in each of his four such clashes - all in the Premier League.
- Each of Michail Antonio’s 41 Premier League goals have come from inside the area, with his winner for West Ham his 14th strike at London Stadium in the top flight, now the outright most by any player.
- West Brom extend their winless top-flight run on a Tuesday to 33 matches since beating Watford 2-0 in May 1985 (D14 L19). Indeed, their Premier League run of 30 games without a win on this day is the most by any side on any given day in the competition’s history.
West Ham are in FA Cup action as they host Doncaster in the fourth round on Saturday, 23 January (15:00 GMT). West Brom’s next fixture sees them host Manchester City in the Premier League on Tuesday, 26 January (20:15).
West Ham United
West Bromwich Albion
- 10LanziniSubstituted forFornalsat 62′minutes
- 9BenrahmaSubstituted forYarmolenkoat 62′minutes
- 30AntonioSubstituted forNobleat 84′minutes
- 18GallagherBooked at 90mins
- 8LivermoreSubstituted forRobson-Kanuat 80′minutes
- 13GrosickiSubstituted forFurlongat 70′minutes
- 12Costa Pereira
- Graham Scott
Match ends, West Ham United 2, West Bromwich Albion 1.
Second Half ends, West Ham United 2, West Bromwich Albion 1.
Foul by Angelo Ogbonna (West Ham United).
Hal Robson-Kanu (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Conor Gallagher (West Bromwich Albion) is shown the yellow card.
Conor Gallagher (West Bromwich Albion) has gone down, but the referee deems it simulation.
Foul by Vladimir Coufal (West Ham United).
Callum Robinson (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Craig Dawson (West Ham United).
Hal Robson-Kanu (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Craig Dawson (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Hal Robson-Kanu (West Bromwich Albion).
Attempt missed. Darnell Furlong (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Kieran Gibbs with a cross.
Aaron Cresswell (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Hal Robson-Kanu (West Bromwich Albion).
Substitution, West Ham United. Mark Noble replaces Michail Antonio.
Attempt missed. Michail Antonio (West Ham United) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Tomas Soucek.
Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Hal Robson-Kanu replaces Jake Livermore.
Attempt missed. Matheus Pereira (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left.
Attempt saved. Conor Gallagher (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Kieran Gibbs with a headed pass.