West Ham manager Slaven Bilic praised his team despite having important players missing in the 2-1 victory against Ronald Koeman’s Southampton.

The 47 year old said: “It was all to do with the players.

"We made a couple of changes and some tactical and positional changes at half time because the first half performance was not good enough.

Read more: Southampton lose to Irons despite dominant first half display

"The players changed their attitude and character. It’s not that they didn’t care because they did try in the first half.”

“I didn’t ask them to win the game or turn it around – I only asked them to give Southampton a good game because it was really poor. The second half we got rewarded and I think we totally deserved it.”

The Hammers fell behind in the game on Monday, December 28, despite dominating the opening 10 minutes as Saints midfielder Dusan Tadic prodded home Shane Long’s low cross after 13 minutes.

However, the east Londoners improved dramatically in the second half and Michail Antonio’s first goal for the club came at the perfect time.

With 12 minutes remaining, Antonio was involved again as his header rattled the crossbar from Enner Valencia’s cross – half time substitute Andy Carroll finished off the rebound.

Despite half time substitute Carroll eventually scoring the winner, it was Manuel Lanzini who impressed Bilic the most.

“I don’t want to talk about the players that were not available today,” said the former Besiktas chief.

“We’ve missed them for the past couple of months but we still have a good bunch of players who are making it easier for other players.

"Having Lanzini back was massive because he is one of the players that makes it easier for the other players.

"He’s only just recovered from injury but I wanted to risk it because we really needed him.”

The club are now on a six game unbeaten run and ended five successive draws with this victory.

This is the first time since 2008 that West Ham had won their final league game of the calendar year and they’ll look to maintain their unbeaten run when they take on Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool in their first game of 2016.

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