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Alan Irvine pleased with West Ham’s application and attitude in Leicester win

Stoke City v West Ham United – Premier League – bet365 Stadium
(Image credit: Mike Egerton)

Assistant manager Alan Irvine hailed the application and attitude of West Ham’s players following another eye-catching Premier League win against Leicester.

The Hammers followed up last weekend’s 4-0 victory against Wolves with a 3-0 success at the King Power Stadium on Sunday.

Their deep, organised defending denied Leicester any space and time, while at the other end they were dangerous on the break through Michail Antonio and Pablo Fornals, both of whom were on the scoresheet in the first half.

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Jarrod Bowen rounded off an impressive performance by West Ham late on after Declan Rice had also struck the crossbar.

Asked about the secret behind the last two results, Irvine said: “Everyone is doing their job and doing their job extremely well.

“The shape of the team is fantastic, in and out of possession, and the players have showed a great work ethic and commitment to each other.

“The players understand the importance of a clean sheet, you could see that in the celebration of some of them when the (Leicester) goal was ruled out at the end.

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“There’s a real pride in keeping clean sheets and they know if they can do that then we have the firepower at the other end to hurt teams.”

Irvine oversaw the team again on Sunday in the continued absence of manager David Moyes who, along with players Issa Diop and Josh Cullen, tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of the Carabao Cup tie against Hull on September 22.

Irvine was quick to highlight the part Moyes has played in the results against Wolves and Leicester despite having to self-isolate, revealing his fellow Scot should be back taking training again next week.

“David has been heavily involved in everything,” said Irvine. “He picks the team and the substitutions and we just deliver the messages. It’s fantastic how the players have accepted the situation, there’s been no issues at all and all the players have all rallied round.

Leicester City v West Ham United – Premier League – King Power

Jarrod Bowen celebrates scoring West Ham’s third goal (Marc Atkins/PA)

“I believe he was dancing around his apartment after the last win but I haven’t spoken to him yet. But I imagine it will be much the same and he will be thrilled. We will be training again on Tuesday and he is hoping to be there, all being well.”

Leicester were looking to win their opening four league games for the first time in their history but Brendan Rodgers’ side were never allowed to get going.

The Foxes, who scored five times in a win at Manchester City last weekend, struggled to break down an organised Hammers defence as their neat build-up play lacked an incisive final pass around the penalty area, while in-form striker Jamie Vardy was largely anonymous.

Rodgers admitted his team had been well below their best but tempered the disappointment of the loss by putting Leicester’s start into perspective.

“It’s just one of those days,” said the Foxes boss. “It starts with defending and we lacked intensity and aggression. When the ball broke down at the top end of the field our contributions were nowhere near the level, West Ham played out far too easily.

Leicester City v West Ham United – Premier League – King Power

Brendan Rodgers admitted Leicester were below par (Nigel French/PA)

“We had a lack of precision and quality. We actually went through the lines really well in the first half but we couldn’t get Jamie (Vardy) away or we gave the ball away far too easy.

“So that combination at both ends of the pitch meant it was not a good day for us.

“We have made a really good start with nine points from the first four games and we had a chance to make it a great start by winning all four but we didn’t.

“It has given us another lesson at this level that if you don’t perform to your maximum, then you fall short.

“But I thought West Ham deserved it. Give credit to West Ham, they got the points, but we were well below our best and if you are like that then you get punished.”