Wednesday 18 September 2019

Anderson aiming higher after tearing up the Toon

West Ham United: Felipe Anderson. Photo: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images
West Ham United: Felipe Anderson. Photo: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Damien Spellman

Felipe Anderson is targeting back-to-back Premier League victories for the first time this season as West Ham attempt to haul themselves up the table.

The Brazilian winger played a key role in Saturday's comprehensive 3-0 win at Newcastle and with Cardiff and Crystal Palace both due at the London Stadium in the next week, is hopeful of establishing a real momentum.

Anderson, who has now scored four goals in four games, said: "Certainly this season we haven't been able to be consistent. We play very well one match and then the next one, we can't manage to sustain the same level of performance.

"But now we expect to change that flow and manage to have a streak of victories to realise our potential. We have the will and the quality to do it."

If the Hammers were bruised from their 4-0 home defeat by Manchester City a week earlier, they did not show it on Tyneside.

They got their noses in front courtesy of Javier Hernandez's 12th-minute strike and then picked off the Magpies at will with a display of lethal counter-attacking football.

Hernandez effectively killed the game off with his second 19 minutes into the second half and Anderson wrapped up the points at the death on an afternoon when the visitors passed up a series of other opportunities.

The 25-year-old said: "It was great to be able to score first so we could use my characteristics and my team-mates to launch counter-attacks, and we were happy to be able to dictate the rhythm of the game."

Anderson's pace down the left caused Newcastle all kinds of problems, but it was Mexico international Hernandez who put them to the sword.

Anderson said: "He has that finishing quality that's essential for us. He's a player who's always available and always determined.

"I hope he scores more goals... well, not just him, also (Marko) Arnautovic and all the other players who are looking for a chance. That will be very important for us."

West Ham had won only once at St James' Park in 20 years before their arrival and the ease with which they doubled their tally came as a shock to the Magpies, who were looking for a fourth successive league victory.

Manager Rafael Benitez was left to bemoan missed chances and defensive frailty, and it was not lost on him that Anderson alone cost the Hammers £40million this summer, far in excess of his entire transfer budget.

He said: "When you see the players they have up front, the value and the level that they have... we were a little bit open on the counter-attack with their movement and control and the pace, and you suffer.

"Still I think we did well enough to create and then maybe to score, but we didn't do it and the second goal, it was very difficult for us.

"After that, we were trying to do everything, but sometimes the anxiety doesn't allow you to make the right decisions."

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