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A big result

Filed: Sunday, 13th January 2008
By: Matthew O'Greel

Alan Curbishley breathed a sigh of relief as his side recorded their fourth home win of the season - despite having to come from behind to do so.

Goals from Dean Ashton and Anton Ferdinand gave the Hammers their first home win of 2008 and leaves United in a position which, according to Curbishley, now has them looking at the teams above rather than below.

However he admitted that it looked like being a very different story after the first quarter of the game.

"We started off ever so slowly for a home team," Curbishley told the BBC's Match of the Day*. "We're quite aware of our home record, and that we've got to do better, and I was so disappointed with the first 25 minutes.

"I was very disappointed with my back four as I don't think they got to grips with it early on. We were unsettled, and it was a really soft goal that we let in. But I was so pleased that we got ourselves back in the game as it could have been a tougher afternoon."

Fortunately for Curbishley Fulham's early lead lasted for just 20 minutes - something which he felt was vital to them going on to win the game.

"We saw all the stats saying that Fulham haven't won away from home for so long so you come into the game waiting for a banana skin," he added. "The expectation level was on us today so it was always going to be tough.

"We did say that if we could get some decent balls in the box that we would have a chance with Ashton and Cole - and that's exactly what happened. It was a great cross from Freddie and Dean's got across the back four and got his head on it.

"The keeper's made a few saves and they cleared a couple of the line. But we managed to get the result, and it was a big result becasue it's put us firmly in the top ten and gives up the opportunity to start looking up."

Despite the win West Ham United remain in tenth spot but with a six point cushion over Newcastle in eleventh - and just seven points away from fourth place.

With several players now either back or set to return from injury, Curbishley may now finally have the selection problems that he has been craving all season.

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