West Ham defender Kurt Zouma sings the praises of Nayef Aguerd following his vital winning goal and performance against Southampton.

Going into Sunday’s relegation six pointer, just one point separated the Hammers and bottom of the league Southampton. West Ham battled their way to a 1-0 win, which moved them up to 14th. Much of that is down to the defensive pairing of Kurt Zouma and Nayef Aguerd.

Both players have struggled with injuries with the Moroccan getting injured during pre-season and being out until just before the World Cup. Since returning, he has not only impressed West Ham fans, but has been getting praise from most of those who have seen him play.

“It’s a very good header from Nayef” Zouma stated, when talking to WHUFC.com. “I tried to get on his nerves a bit yesterday [Saturday]” he joked, referring to the Moroccan not getting on the score sheet up until that point. The banter clearly worked as the header was inch perfect and gave West Ham a massive boost in their fight for survival.

“Nayef deserves it. He has been playing well since he came back from injury. And hopefully, other players will take inspiration from him and score in the next game.”

West Ham fans will be hoping for the same as they face a tough game at the London Stadium against Newcastle. The East London side will need to be at their very best to get a result out of the match.

The Frenchman admits that while “we did the job, it was a tough afternoon for everyone. It is not done yet. We are on a good run at home. But we need to get some points away now.”

With only one win away from home all season (which came against Aston Villa) it is vital West Ham carry the momentum they’ve built at home into away games.

Before they can focus on away games, all attention must turn to the Geordies. West Ham are undefeated at home in 2023 and both sides are desperate for points; the home side to stay in the premier league and the away in their mission to get Champions League football next season. Every game is just important as the last and, when the table is so tight, any point could make the difference in determining West Ham’s fate.