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Dave Evans, West Ham Correspondent
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Hammers front man Ricardo Vaz Te was delighted to get off the mark for the season at QPR on Monday, but he is hungry for more
West Ham winger Ricardo Vaz Te celebrated his 26th birthday on Monday by grabbing his first goal of the season in the 2-1 win over Queens Park Rangers.
But the former Bolton Wanderer is determined to make sure that the best is yet to come from him.
Vaz Te grabbed a dozen goals from January to May for the Hammers, including the Wembley play-off winner, but this was his first strike of this campaign.
And he is hungry for more success.
“I think my best is yet to come,” he said.
“Me scoring was a bonus, but I am here to play my part in the team. I am always looking to improve and I am still young – this is my first year in the Premier League after taking a long absence.”
Injury ruined his time at Bolton Wanderers, but he has slowly built himself back up via Greek club Panionos, Hibernian and Barnsley before manager Sam Allardyce took a £500,000 gamble on bringing him to Upton Park.
“I respect the gaffer,” said Vaz Te. “I have known him since I was 16 and he believes in me.
“At Bolton nobody knew what was going on with me. I had injuries and it was very difficult, there was a time when it was thought I would not play again.
“I just had to get through that time, but also then prove I could play, I could get fit again, they were the main targets for me.”
The attacking wide man has certainly had his inconsistent moments this season, but he has only known success in his time at West Ham and he believes that has instilled a confidence in the side that is priceless.
“I think a lot has to do with the belief we have as a team,” he insisted.
“The main objective is to stay up and fight for a win, fight for the points.
“We approach every game with the belief we can get something from it. We just believe we are and can be a good Premier League side – the gaffer makes us believe that all the time.”
With the likes of Yossi Benayoun and Gary O’Neil vying for his place in the team, Vaz Te knows that he is only as good as his last performance, even when it is one of his best of the season.
“I have to make sure I am working hard enough to be in the side,” he reflected.
“I will get more confident, more comfortable and hopefully go on to have more performances like the one against QPR and better.”
He’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but when he is on song, as he was at Loftus Road, he can be devastating.
Many happy returns.