Stewart Downing defends 'ugly' football

Stewart Downing encourages West Ham fans to embrace the 'ugly' side of the game if it strengthens the club's survival bid.

Stewart Downing has urged West Ham United fans to embrace the 'ugly' side of the game if it serves to strengthen the club's survival bid.

Despite beating Hull City 2-1 at Upton Park on Wednesday, the Hammers were booed off the field due to a perceived lack of unattractive football on display.

Downing was among those to feel the wrath of the home supporters but, despite admitting that the performance was not "pretty", the winger feels that results should come before style in a relegation battle.

"We found it all a little bit strange, winning the game and getting booed off," he told Sky Sports.

"In this game it's all about results. It wasn't pretty but the big thing is we got the points because it moves us closer to safety.

"We just play effective football to get results. When I was at Liverpool we played nice football but we finished eighth. There's no point playing good football and getting relegated. I did that with Middlesbrough."

Sam Allardyce's men could move 11 points clear of the drop zone with a win away to Sunderland on Monday night.

Manager Gus Poyet of Sunderland gestures during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Sunderland at Goodison Park on December 26, 2013
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