Slaven Bilic felt the goalscoring exploits of Javier Hernandez was one major positive for West Ham after they went down 3-2 at Southampton.
The Hammers have lost both Premier League games – they were swatted aside 4-0 at Manchester United last week – and faced a real dogfight at St Mary’s once summer signing Marko Arnautovic was sent off in the first half.
Manolo Gabbiadini side-footed past Joe Hart to put Saints in front while Dusan Tadic doubled the lead from the penalty spot not long after Arnautovic exited.
Hernandez looked to have snatched an unlikely point for the visitors with two goals from close range either side of half time but Pablo Zabaleta bundled into Maya Yoshida and substitute Charlie Austin coolly slotted past Joe Hart in stoppage time.
Signed for £16m from Bayer Leverkusen this summer, former Manchester United forward Hernandez lived up to his reputation as a potent poacher with his first two goals for his new club.
“We knew what we were getting with Hernandez: a really great player, great character, team player, really enthusiastic,” said Bilic afterwards.
“You’re expecting goals from him but on top of the goals, his determination; he sacrificed for the team in the best possible way.”
Arnautovic took to social media to apologise to West Ham’s fans after the game and his manager said he had made life fiercely difficult for his teammates.
“It is a big blow because you have to play with 10 men for a big part of the game.
We have spoken about everything and that will stay inside the dressing room,” Bilic added.