Following a disastrous start to the season, West Ham have found some much-needed form in the last two months, winning six of their previous 10 Premier League fixtures. However Bilic’s men suffered a potentially damaging defeat last week, as Manchester City thumped them 4-0 at the London Stadium.
The Hammers produced a worryingly lifeless performance that night, but got back on track at St. Mary’s over the weekend. Although Southampton took the lead through Manolo Gabbiadini, goals from Andy Carroll, Obiang and Mark Noble secured an impressive win, leaving them in a good position at this stage of the season.
After the game, the 24-year-old Spanish midfielder revealed what Bilic told his side in the aftermath of the City defeat, urging them to show more character against the Saints.
“Before the Southampton game the manager emphasised that we are a good team but that we must show character and be compact,” Obiang said (via the London Evening Standard). “It’s the same with any game but this was different because the City match was so bad. When they scored their first goal, our heads went down.
“Against Southampton, they also scored first but our reaction was different and after the game the boss said: ‘This is the character we need to show. We need to keep going and you never know what might happen’.
“The Manchester City result was tough to take. The manager took me off in the second half and there were many things for me to think about but now I am happy.”
Obiang has scored one goal and created five chances in 17 Premier League appearances this season, with an average pass accuracy of 81%, as West Ham sit ninth on 31 points, five behind West Bromwich Albion in eighth.
Next up for them is a home clash with West Brom on Saturday, before taking on Watford at Vicarage Road.