Hodgson hails Reds response
Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson was pleased with the way his side coped without Steven Gerrard in the 3-0 victory over West Ham at Anfield.
The match was won in the first half after goals from Glen Johnson, Dirk Kuyt from the penalty sport and Maxi Rodriguez, taking the Reds within three points of fourth place currently occupied by Bolton.
West Ham were woeful in the first half and improved only slightly after the break.
"It was important to win and I think we did it in some style," said Hodgson.
"We knew what we had to do today. We were concerned we would have to do it without Steven and Lucas Leiva (who was suspended) but the players selected today did really well.
"We got the three points we needed and we got it with not only a good performance but a thoroughly professional performance.
"I don't think the words comfortable and relaxed are words us managers use too often but if you're not comfortable 3-0 up at half-time and they've not had a shot on goal you're never going to be."
Johnson, who missed the last three matches with a groin injury, was criticised by Hodgson nearly a fortnight ago for failing to display the form which had made him an England international.
Apart from his goal, the right-back showed that had taken on board what had been said and was starting to rediscover that form.
"It was very good. I think Glen profited from the fact he has been obliged to undergo an enforced rest with the injury but has been fit and trained hard all week," added the Reds boss.
"He was full of running, enthusiasm and energy and scored the important first goal.
"Today his performance, as for all of the back four, was pretty-nigh perfect."
The defeat leaves West Ham boss Avram Grant, whose side have won just once this season, under pressure as he tries to find a solution which will get them off the bottom of the table.
"We were very poor first half. We didn't come to the game, our movement was not good," he said.
"I think we missed a lot of players who are in good shape, we were without four players who have played well in recent weeks.
"In the last weeks we have performed well but today we deserved this."
Grant was taunted with chants of 'You're getting sacked in the morning' but he brushed those aside, insisting he can succeed at West Ham.
"The fans are always right. They came all the way and want to see a good performance and they saw us not so good in the first half," he said.
"I am concentrating on my job. Even now in this situation we can get out of this.
"If I can take West Ham to the place I want to take them that is what is important.
"The minute I think I cannot do my job I will not be here."