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Curbishley delighted with "important" West Ham victory

Alan Curbishley saw his West Ham team produce their best performance of the season in their 3-0 win at Reading yesterday.

Craig Bellamy gave the Hammers an early advantage and Matthew Etherington scored two breakaway efforts in the second half to wrap up the points.

West Ham had been beaten 6-0 in the corresponding fixture last season but manager Curbishley insisted there had been little desire for revenge.

Instead, he had been pleased his players had been so dominant with so many first-choices out injured, with Kieron Dyer the latest to be sidelined after suffering a broken leg in midweek.

He said: "We never spoke too much about last year. I'm delighted for the boys who have come in because we have been hit by injuries again and some of them stepped up to the plate today.

"We have a few injuries at the moment and it has tested us but we put on a decent display. This was an important result because if we hadn't got anything we would have been in the bottom reaches. Now we find ourselves in the top half."

Dean Ashton made his first start for more than a year and lasted 65 minutes.

Curbishley said: "I have said all along we have been managing him so we are delighted he had 65-odd minutes. Now he has got to push on."

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