West Ham’s ‘Little’ Sam is ready to step up to the next level

New West Ham striker Sam Baldock is champing at the bit at the prospect of making his Hammers debut against Portsmouth at Upton Park on Saturday.

The diminutive, speedy forward, who has already scored six goals this season, signed from MK Dons in a �2million deal two weeks ago and he is determined to add more firepower to West Ham’s promotion push.

“It is a big step up,” admitted the 22-year-old striker this week. “But I’ve settled in well and I’m already learning from some quality players here.

“The squad is full of Premier League players, but hopefully I can bring something different to the squad.”

Baldock reportedly turned down West Ham’s Championship rivals Southampton to come to Upton Park, but the player himself had no doubt where he wanted to go.

“Things have been reported elsewhere, but for me as soon as West Ham showed an interest they were the only club I wanted to come to,” admitted Baldock.

“I didn’t even have to speak to the manager about it. West Ham is a massive club and Sam Allardyce has done so much in the game.

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“I spoke to him about my role and he told me it allowed the team to play with two strikers. It has been going pretty well with just the one striker at the moment, but I am ready to play wherever he wants me.

“The strikers here are good, but so are the midfielders too. I see myself as a player who can make runs and work really hard and when you have players with the quality of Kevin Nolan, Mark Noble and David Bentley threading balls through to you, I hope I will be able to do something with them!”

Baldock has only really played up front with one big man in the past – Aaron Wilbraham – who is now at Norwich, but a lot of the time this season he has been a lone striker.

Now he is likely to be pitched alongside the likes of Carlton Cole, Freddie Piquionne and John Carew, who he has been training with since his arrival at the club.

“The training is different to Milton Keynes,” he said. “It is about being sharper and stronger and that is coming along well for me. Milton Keynes have a very good training regime though as well, so I think I am pretty fit already.”

Baldock is likely to be on the bench against Portsmouth on Saturday unless Allardyce decides on a radical change to his formation from the previous games they have played this season.

But Baldock’s arrival adds pace to the team and if things are not going well then the little man could thrive in a 4-4-2 set-up and help West Ham grab their first home win of the campaign.

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