Ricardo Vaz Te enjoyed a fairytale first six months in a West Ham United shirt.

The forward arrived at the Boleyn Ground in January before going on to score 12 goals in 18 appearances - climaxed with his unforgettable late winner in the npower Championship final victory over Blackpool at Wembley in May.

The No12 continued his good form at the start of the current campaign, scoring his maiden Barclays Premier League goal for the club at Queens Park Rangers on 1 October as the Hammers settled into the top half of the table.

Five days later, Vaz Te's dream start to life as a Hammer ended when he dislocated his shoulder in the 3-1 home league defeat by Arsenal, with the initial prognosis ruling him out for three months.

The 26-year-old showed typical determination to return to first-team duty two weeks ahead of schedule. Now he is aiming to make up for lost time by helping West Ham to regain their place in the top ten - starting with victory at Sunderland on Saturday.

The popular Portuguese sat down with West Ham TV for a wide-ranging interview ahead of this weekend's trip to the Stadium of Light.

"I'm delighted to be back. It has been a bit frustrating at times, but now I'm just working hard to get back to where I left off, really, and trying to push on," said Vaz Te."It's never easy to deal with any injury, especially at the stage I was at before I hurt my shoulder, picking up form in the Premier League. I had a long absence when I felt like I was growing with every game.

"I had put in six good performances and I had just started scoring as well, so I thought I could just carry on and things were picking up. To get injured at that stage was not really ideal."

The versatile attacker returned to action at Reading on 29 December before starting the 2-1 Barclays Premier League win over Norwich City and 2-2 FA Cup with Budweiser third-round draw with Manchester United at the Boleyn Ground.

Now, Vaz Te is looking forward to a busy period that could potentially see the Hammers play a further six fixtures before the end of January - and setting high standards for himself and for the team.

"I was very disappointed against Reading because I felt I could give a bit more and I should have finished the chance that I had. Again, I was still a bit rusty and I had not had many training sessions before that game, but I still apologise for the fans.

"My main aim is to help the club get back into the top ten. I believe that is where the club belongs. With the size of West Ham, that is what we should aim and push for. I am delighted we are doing so well. We have drifted off a little bit but I am hoping I can help the club to get back to the top ten."

During a revealing discussion, Vaz Te also discussed his flourishing on-pitch relationship with right-back Guy Demel and his recent interview with a national newspaper in which he talked about his unique upbringing and the determination it gave him to succeed.

The popular Portuguese closed by answering a number of questions posed by supporters on the club's official twitter feed @whufc_official. To see if your question was one of those answered now, log in or subscribe now by clicking on the link below.

West Ham TV