West Ham defender Pablo Zabaleta admitted a first win of the season was a timely confidence boost for the players after a difficult start to life under new manager Manuel Pellegrini.

The 3-1 win at Everton lifted the Hammers out of the bottom three and came ahead of a run of matches which will see them face Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham in three of their next four Premier League matches.

After conceding 10 goals in their first four matches and scoring just two the murmurings of discontent were starting to grow but three points at Goodison Park has helped quell that for now.

"Very pleased after four defeats," said the Argentinian.

"It was a great game, it was crucial to get three points to lift the confidence of the lads, the manager, everyone.

"It was a great performance from the whole team: offensively and defensively we were really good. I am so happy for the performance."

Zabaleta stressed despite the early criticism the players never lost faith in Pellegrini's methods.

After spending £100million in the summer, bringing in seven players, it was always likely to take a while for the Chilean to put his stamp on the side.

"We always believed it," added Zabaleta.

"Sometimes you have so many players who came in during the summer with a new manager and new style of play you have to find the right team.

"It has been a tough few months for the manager, especially when you try to bring in a new style of play, sometimes it doesn't work out in a few games and you keep changing the team to try to find the best starting XI.

"Every single game is so difficult and it took five games to get the first win but you can see how tight everything is in the table, it is only a few points different so it is important now to pick up points every single game and look forward.

"A victory lifts the spirit in the dressing room and we can think about Chelsea (next weekend).

"There is competition from the players in a strong squad but the key to it is to be honest with ourselves.

"We know every single player is not going to play every game apart from the spine of the team, four or five players, but we need to give everything. That is key. We will continue like this and we hope this is the beginning of something."