Maiga ready to take Prem chance
West Ham striker Modibo Maiga is ready to make his mark on the Barclays Premier League after scoring his first goal for the club.
Hammers boss Sam Allardyce has been conscious not to throw Maiga in at they deep end of English football following his summer transfer from French club Sochaux. Allardyce believes overseas players need time to adjust to the rigours of the Premier League and Maiga has been restricted to substitute appearances against Aston Villa and Swansea.
But the Mali international is straining at the leash after marking his first West Ham start with a goal and a key assist as the Hammers best Crewe 2-0 in the Capital One Cup. He told the club's official website: "Of course, scoring my first goal was great and I was happy to contribute to the victory."
He added: "I hope to score a lot more goals for West Ham in the future. I really, really want to do well here and have real determination to be successful with West Ham. I came here to play a big role in the Premier League. I feel like I am ready to contribute now."
Maiga played the lone striker role with great effect against Crewe and his performance will have given Allardyce some food for thought ahead of Saturday's clash with Fulham. It was his one-touch exchange with Ricardo Vaz Te which teed up Nicky Maynard for the opening goal and Maiga then sealed the win by following up Kevin Nolan's shot.
Maiga was a constant threat. He was repeatedly denied by Crewe goalkeeper Alan Main and he missed two golden chances, volleying over the bar from six yards and then heading wide.
"I thought he was fantastic," said Hammers assistant manager Neil McDonald. "He is still getting used to the pace of English football and that takes time to settle into. I thought he got stronger as the game went along."
Allardyce is looking to strengthen West Ham's attacking options still further following the summer arrivals of Maiga and Matt Jarvis. Liverpool pair Andy Carroll and Joe Cole have both been linked with moves to Upton Park. McDonald would not be drawn on individual targets, but he confirmed West Ham were focusing their search on attack more than defence.
"The manager and the board have worked very hard to bring people in and if we could nick another one before the end it would be brilliant," he said. "That would bring extra competition, it would be another body which would be good for the team.
"We are scouring all over the place. If we get the right person then hopefully the chairman can pop up with the money again and get them in."
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