Marko Arnautovic praised West Ham’s unity as they put the Burnley debacle behind them to outclass Southampton 3-0 in the Premier League.
Three weeks ago pitch invasions and board protests brought ugly scenes to the London Stadium as Burnley cruised to victory.
It was a very different atmosphere on Saturday, though, as three first-half goals lifted the pressure on David Moyes’ side, while also easing frustrations in the stands.
Arnautovic – who struck twice after Joao Mario’s opener – was the star man for the hosts, and he believes victory over the Saints could be a turning point in their battle to avoid relegation.
“That was 100 per cent the best response to what happened in the last game,” he told the club’s official website.
“We had a couple of difficult weeks and we wanted to get good results but we didn’t.
“During the last three weeks we said that we had to stick together as a team, as a whole club. We [knew] we could come out of this, we have quality and we showed that today.
“We played brilliantly, it was a fantastic performance.
“I am happy for my goals, but most important is the team. We always believe that we will survive, why not? There are seven or eight teams fighting against relegation.”
And the forward was equally impressed with the support from the stands, adding: “The crowd were good. When we came out before the game, we felt the crowd was behind us and that was an amazing feeling. And then when we started like that they were always behind us, then it’s very good.”
Manager David Moyes echoed Arnautovic’s praise after West Ham brought some relief to an underwhelming season.
“The players were great, their preparation over the last few weeks, their attitude has been great, they wanted to put past events behind them,” said the Scot.
“The supporters were great and they appreciated the performance of the players. We got the job done early which helped.”