West Ham manager Sam Allardyce admitted Sunday’s 1-0 FA Cup win at Bristol City was “a pretty big result” for his side.
The Hammers booked their place in the draw for the fifth round with a narrow victory at Ashton Gate against Steve Cotterill’s League One promotion hopefuls.
Substitute Diafra Sakho’s header on 81 minutes proved to be enough for the east Londoners who needed a replay, extra-time and penalties to beat Everton in the third round.
Last season West Ham were beaten 5-0 in the third round of the FA Cup but at the time Allardyce was more concerned with his side’s poor form in the Premier League.
The Hammers eventually finished in 13th place, having at one stage been in the bottom three, but 12 months on it is a different story as Allardyce’s men are seventh and so are able to give the FA Cup their full attention.
However, a trip to Bristol City was never going to be easy as the Robins are joint-top of League One and looking good for promotion.
West Ham safely negotiated the game but were forced to endure some tense moments when striker Matt Smith twice had headers cleared off the line.
Allardyce said: “I knew it was going to be tough and it was exactly that. Bristol City showed why they are where they are in their league.
“We found it difficult to get our passing game going but thankfully Andy’s cross and Sakho’s header was all we needed to get a very important win.”