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Dave Evans, West Ham Correspondent
Thursday, July 12, 2012
Hammers forward Nicky Maynard can’t wait to pit his goalscoring wits against the cream of Premier League defenders
When Nicky Maynard left Bristol City back in January, there were many who criticised the player for making the move for purely monetary reasons.
The stick he received on his return to Ashton Gate back in April was stinging, but for the player, he was never in doubt about making the move to West Ham.
“It is every English footballers dream to play in the Premier League and that is the main reason I left Bristol City,” said the quietly-spoken 25-year-old, who grabbed three goals in claret and blue last season.
“I wanted to play in the Premier League as quickly as possible. West Ham came in for me, who were in the Championship at the time, but I knew that they would go into the Premier League.
“I am here now and it is down to me to produce and stay in the top flight with West Ham.”
Maynard faces some pretty stiff competition, but he is determined to grab the goals in pre-season that will make it hard for manager Sam Allardyce to leave him out when the season starts on August 18.
“I believe in my ability and I believe I can do the job,” insisted Maynard. “The gaffer has got so many strikers he can choose from, so it is down to us to catch the eye in pre-season and try and win a place for the opening game.”
Maynard played the second half at Boreham Wood on Tuesday night, seeing one effort well saved by the keeper and then missed a glorious last-minute chance to win the game.
But he said that he is enjoying pre-season so far.
“It was really hot in Austria which is good and I have got the chance to enjoy a full pre-season with West Ham, which is pretty different to what I was doing at Bristol,” he said.
“It is more intense here, but that is maybe because we are playing in the Premier League. Fitness levels are better, everyone’s skills are a lot better as well so you have got to step up to the plate.”
While it was Ricardo Vaz Te that grabbed most of the headlines last season, Maynard went about his business in a quiet, impressive way.
He was certainly pleased with the way things have gone since signing in January.
“I couldn’t have asked for it to go any better to be honest,” he said. “Signing was a bit of a rush, but as soon as I got here the lads made me feel very welcome.
“I’ve also chipped in with my goals as well and as a striker I know how important it is to get off the mark at a new club.”
Now Maynard will be waiting for a chance to get that first Premier League goal under his belt, he hopes, sooner rather than later.