Nicky Maynard has vowed to keep working hard after another impressive performance saw him play a pivotal role in the West Ham United's 2-1 win at Colchester United on Saturday.

The forward opened the scoring with a superb volley - his second pre-season goal after netting a header at Southend United - before winning a penalty that Mark Noble calmly dispatched for the eventual winner.

Usually a centre forward, Maynard was deployed on the right side of a front three, and despite it not being his natural position he insists he's happy to play wherever he is needed.

"I've been playing wider than I usually do," he confirmed to West Ham TV. "The gaffer has said it's more than likely we will be playing this formation so it's good for me to get used to the role.

"That doesn't mean I won't get chance to play through the middle, but it's another position for me to learn."

And the 25-year-old, who has jetted off with his team-mates for a week-long tour to eastern Germany, believes his hard work and willingness is already reapingrewards as he continues to develop a better understanding of the players around him.

"It's good for me to get used to playing in that area, it will help me get on the same wavelength as the midfield. We showed it on Saturday. Me and Mark (Noble) linked well on a few occasions, particularly for the penalty."

Nicky Maynard

The former Bristol City forward also took a moment to reflect on his goal, admitting he had learnt from previous situations in which he failed to find the target.

"We played Cardiff away [in March] and I had a similar chance but I blazed it over, so I just concentrated on keeping it low and luckily it's bounced up and hit the back of the net.

"It's nice to get another goal and hopefully I'll be able to get a few more before the season starts."

The club completed the signing of Mali international forward Modibo Maiga last week, but Maynard refused to believe new signings will bring anything but positives to the team.

"If we play the formation we did today throughout the season and we've only got three strikers then it's not going to get the best out of us.

"More competition is healthy for the squad, it means it's up to you to stake a claim and take the chance when you get it. It's great for the team."

Maynard also paid tribute to the club's decision to begin their pre-season schedule a week earlier than usual, giving players the opportunity to steadily build up their fitness ahead of the start of the Barclays Premier League season on 18 August.

"It's a longer pre-season than many teams but we haven't come in and been expected to be ready.

"We've gradually been able to build out fitness and the lads are really enjoying it and looking forward to the opener against Aston Villa."

New home kit on sale 450