David Moyes admitted he never thought he could guide his West Ham side into the top ten upon taking over at the club.
Javier Hernandez and Marko Arnautovic were on target as they secured a crucial 2-0 win over Watford.
A goal from the Mexican and the Austrian eased the Hammers’ relegation fears, moving them level with Watford and five points clear of the Premier League drop zone.
The victory, and performance, proved just how far West Ham have come under David Moyes, whose first game in charge was a dispiriting 2-0 defeat to the same opposition in November.
“I thought we started really well,” Moyes told BBC’s Match of the Day.
“We were very wary of Watford after their performance and result against Chelsea. That was a concern. But we nullified them.
“We have threats in attacking areas – Javier Hernandez, Michail Antonio and Marko Arnautovic – which ultimately hurt them in the end.”
The Hammers boss also commented on the return of both Michail Antonio and Arnautovic.
“We needed them back. All teams need their best players.
“I wasn’t so happy with our second half. We didn’t win much and I thought Watford were first to most things. But we defended well enough. We still merited it, we stuck at it and got the job done.
“There’s not that big a points difference between 11th, 10th and ninth. When I took over we were in the relegation zone, I’d have said ‘you’re kidding’ if you said we could get into the top 10 when I took over. It’s great credit to the players. We want to keep improving.”