Relieved David Moyes admitted West Ham’s thumping 4-0 victory over Nottingham Forest had been a long time coming.
he Hammers moved out of the relegation zone with their biggest win of the season, and only their second in their last 12 Premier League matches.
All the goals came in a frantic final 20 minutes, with Danny Ings scoring his first two goals on his first start since joining for £12million from Aston Villa last month.
Declan Rice grabbed the third with a superb curler and Michail Antonio headed in a cross from fellow substitute Pablo Fornals to wrap up a much-needed win.
“How long have I been waiting for that?” said Hammers boss Moyes.
“But it was nice today. We didn’t do an awful lot wrong in the first half. But certainly in the second we started to play a bit better and when we got the second goal I thought, ‘I’m starting to see the West Ham side from last year’. Then the subs came on and had an impact as well.”
Ings’ double came from a combined distance of about six yards, classic poacher’s strikes from crosses by Jarrod Bowen and Said Benrahma.
“We needed someone who knows the art, knows the runs, knows where to be,” added Moyes. “That’s the goals you want to see from centre-forwards. Great credit to him.”
Moyes has retained the support of the Hammers’ hierarchy despite their awful run of form.
He said: “The important thing is I’ve got incredible backing. There’s been a lot of (outside) noise but behind the scenes, no noise. Sometimes to be a manager you need good owners to stay in a job.
“I haven’t come in here with a bottle of champagne thinking everything’s hunky-dory, but I’m thrilled I’ve won 4-0 so I’m going to have a glass of wine and enjoy it.
“It hasn’t made up for the amount of bad nights I’ve had. But scoring four goals against any team in the Premier League is hard to do. It was a very good performance.”
It was also a landmark 250th Premier League win for Moyes – only Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger have more.
“They’re all important,” he said. “If you don’t win the first game you might not get a second, so if you don’t win your 250th you might not get to your 251st.”
Forest are far from safe themselves and boss Steve Cooper branded some of their defending “unacceptable”.
“It’s really disappointing,” he said. “I know West Ham had a lot of set-pieces but we never felt in great danger of conceding.
“I thought we started the second half well and got the momentum, you could feel the tension in the stadium.
“Then we go 1-0 down to a disappointing goal, but what happened between the first and the third goal was difficult to comprehend and unacceptable in so many ways.
“The game got taken away from us and we can blame no one but ourselves. For sure we have to get back to the training ground and have a grown-up conversation with the players about what went on.”