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Vaz Te revels in glorious moment
Published : 19 May 2012 18:17:06
Ricardo Vaz Te admitted feeling "blessed" after his late strike sealed West Ham's promotion to the Barclays Premier League as they beat Blackpool 2-1 in the npower Championship play-off final at Wembley.
The game looked to be heading towards injury time after Blackpool's Thomas Ince cancelled out Carlton Cole's opener for West Ham early in the second half, but Vaz Te fired Sam Allardyce's side into the lead in the 87th minute to seal a dramatic win.
Vaz Te told Sky Sports 1: "It's a great effort form the lads. Its not about the goal, we showed great character. I think we deserved it. We're a Premier League side and we deserved to go up. It's terrific really. I feel like I have been blessed with a second chance in my career and it's great to be here."
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce said: "Blackpool were easily as good as us today but it is about taking your chances and no more so that today. We managed to swing it just at the death. It's 49 games and it's the first one we've won in the last few minutes this season. I'm sure (owners) David Sullivan and David Gold will be very happy.
"It was a magnificent game, end to end and in the end we got one more goal than Blackpool. It's everything to me. It was difficult at the start to turn the club around with the relegation problem we've had but we turned it round and came good at the end.
"I'll look forward to the celebrations first before I start worrying about the Premier League next year. We're just delighted about how much it means at West Ham for the players, the owners, the staff and the 30 or 40,000 fans here."
Blackpool manager Ian Holloway was left to rue missed chances. Stephen Dobbie's shot was kept out by a combination of West Ham goalkeeper Robert Green and the near post before Matt Phillips twice squandered glorious opportunities to put the Seasiders ahead.
"It looked as though there was a foul but at the end of the day they've scored on 88 minutes," Holloway said. "Sometimes in life it goes against you and it did that time but you have to congratulate your opponents.
"I thought my lot gave a great account of themselves today, we created more than enough chances to win the game. We lost Fletch (Gary Taylor-Fletcher) as well, he might have fancied sticking one of them away."
He said: "We've got to get over playing in the Championship again because we were all hoping we would be in the top flight. They've just lost a great big bonus and I feel for them because they deserve more. We've got to get on and bounce ourselves straight back, it's about building now."